The Federal Government on Monday arraigned the candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party in the 2023 governorship election in Ogun State, Ladi Adebutu in absentia for alleged vote buying.
Five other persons were arranged alongside Adebutu before an Ogun State High Court sitting in Abeokuta
Our correspondent gathered that the All Progressives Congress, through its Ogun State Chairman, Yemi Sanusi, wrote a petition to the Inspector General of Police over the allegation.
The allegation was reportedly investigated by the State Criminal Investigations Department Eleweran, Abeokuta.
According to the charge sheet of the case with no AB/10C/2003 filed at the high court and dated June 2, 2023, Adebutu, along with Messers Ogunbona Hammed, Tiamiyu Waliu, Egunsola Owolabi, Sanni Adegoke, Hon. Dare Lukman Ogunleye, Dayo Fasina, Wasiu Enilolobo and Malik Badmus, were being prosecuted on a four-count charge, namely one count of criminal conspiracy contrary to Section 121 of the Electoral Act, 2022, bribery contrary to Section 121 of the Electoral Act, 2022, and two counts of undue influence contrary to section 127 of the Electoral Act, 2022.
According to the particulars of the offence, Adebutu and the co-accused “on or about 18th of March at Ibara, within the jurisdiction of this Honourable Court did conspire among yourselves to corruptly give gifts in form of verve prepaid cards which had inscribed on them ‘Dame Caroline Oladuni Adebutu Memorial Endorsement Scheme for Less Privileged’ in order to induce voters to endeavour the return of PDP candidates during the gubernatorial and State Assembly elections in Ogun State.”
Adebutu was further accused of providing 200,000 prepaid verve cards loaded with N10,000 each and inscribed with the same name “for the purpose of corruptly influencing voters to vote for PDP candidates” during the said elections.
At the proceeding on Monday, Adebutu was absent while five defendants; Ogunbona Hammed, Tiamiyi Waleed, Egunsola Owolabi, Sanni Adejoke and Malik were present.
They all pleaded not guilty to all the four counts and their counsel Muyiwa Obanewa subsequently urged the court to grant bail to the defendants.
Justice Abiodun Akinyemi subsequently admitted the accused to bail in the sum of N100,000 and one surety each who shall be either bondsmen or relatives of the defendants with evidence of payment of tax.
The court adjourned the case till the 26th of September 2023 for a definite hearing.