FG arraigns PDP’s Adebutu, 9 others for vote buying
The governorship candidate of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) in the March 18 election, Hon. Oladipupo Adebutu, was arraigned in absentia by the Federal Government on Monday.
Adebutu, along with nine others, was brought before the Ogun State High Court on charges of alleged vote buying.
The All Progressives Congress (APC), through Chief Yemi Sanusi, had filed a petition with the Inspector General of Police, which led to an investigation by the State Criminal Investigations Department Eleweran, Abeokuta, regarding the vote-buying allegations.
After the investigation was concluded, the Federal Government, through the Director of Public Prosecutions at the Federal Ministry of Justice, filed criminal charges against Ladi and his co-defendants at the High Court.
The case was scheduled to be heard before Hon. Justice Abiodun Akinyemi in court 4, but it was adjourned until today, July 10, 2023, due to the court’s process servers being unable to serve Ladi Adebutu and the other defendants with the information sheet.
At the time the matter was called on Monday, Ladi Adebutu was still at large, while the 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th, and 10th Defendants – Ogunbona Hammed, Tiamiyi Waleed, Egunsola Owolabi, Sanni Adejoke, and Malik respectively – were present.
They pleaded not guilty to all four counts, and their counsel, Muyiwa Obanewa, requested bail for the defendants.
The prosecuting counsel, Rotimi Jacobs, stated that Ladi Adebutu was still on the run but did not oppose the granting of bail to the other defendants.
Justice Akinyemi subsequently granted bail to the accused in the sum of N100,000 each, with one surety each who must be either bondsmen or relatives of the defendants, providing evidence of payment of tax.
The court adjourned the case until September 26, 2023, for a definite hearing.
The charge sheet of the case, with no AB/10C/2003, filed at the high court and dated June 2, 2023, listed the four charges, including criminal conspiracy, bribery, and undue influence, all in violation of the Electoral Act, 2022.