Ladi Adebutu, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) governorship candidate in Ogun in the 2023 elections was on Monday, July 10, arraigned over alleged vote buying.
Adebutu was arraigned at the Ogun state high court alongside nine others after Yemi Sanusi, chairperson of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Ogun petitioned the Inspector-General of Police who ordered an investigation into the incident.
The office of public prosecutions at the federal ministry of justice, filed criminal charges against Adebutu and his co-defendants at the high court after the investigation. The defendants have been accused of criminal conspiracy, bribery, and two counts of undue influence which violates sections 121 and 127 of the Electoral Act 2022.
“On or about 18th of March at Ibara, within the jurisdiction of this Honourable Court did conspire among yourselves to corruptly give gifts in the form of verve prepaid cards which had inscribed on them ‘Dame Caroline Oladuni Adebutu Memorial Endowment Scheme for Less Privileged’ to induce voters to endeavour the return of PDP candidates during the gubernatorial and state assembly elections in Ogun state.”
It was also alleged that the prepaid cards were loaded with N10,000 each.
Though Adebutu was not available in court, Justice Abiodun Akinyemi proceeded with the hearing on Monday. The 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th, and 10th defendants — Ogunbona Hammed, Tiamiyi Waleed, Egunsola Owolabi, Sanni Adejoke and Malik were present and pleaded not guilty to all four counts.
Their lawyer, Muyiwa Obanewa subsequently asked the court to grant them bail, which Rotimi Jacobs, the prosecuting counsel did not oppose to.
After being admitted to bail in the sum of N100,000 and one surety each, who shall be either bondsmen or relatives with evidence of tax payment, Justice Akinyemi adjourned the case till September 26 for hearing.