Ladi Adebutu, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) governorship candidate in Ogun State, has denied the Federal Government’s allegations of vote-buying.
According to reports, the Attorney-General’s Office of the Federation has filed a suit against Adebutu and nine others for alleged money laundering and vote buying during the 2023 elections.
Adebutu said in a statement issued by the Media Director of his campaign organisation, Afolabi Orekoya, on Wednesday that he had not been invited by the police nor served with any court documents related to the suit.
He called the suit an abuse of the legal system and a plot by the state governor, Dapo Abiodun, and the All Progressives Congress to divert the Tribunal’s attention away from its work.
Adebutu also refuted the report that he fled the country to avoid arrest by police, claiming that he left on April 25 for his usual post-election medical check-up.
“We are just seeing it in the media and I will just want to make some points clear, Oladipupo Adebutu has not been served with any court document as regards any charges except for the media trial that we are seeing all around to mislead the public and the Tribunal,” the statement says.
“They (APC and Abiodun) are only trying to distract people and the judiciary from properly addressing the merits of the petition before them.” They should allow the Tribunal to do their job; this is an abuse of the legal system; they should allow the Tribunal to do their job, and at the end of the day, we will know whether or not vote buying occurred.”
Adebutu has accused the Police Force of obstructing an investigation into allegations of vote buying and electoral violence against Abiodun and the APC in the March 18 governorship election.
The PDP candidate also accused Abiodun and the APC of using N3 billion in state funds to bribe voters and thugs to disrupt elections across the state.
Adebutu also claimed that Abiodun and the APC are abusing the police by intimidating and harassing him.
“We have petitioned the Nigerian Police for the past six weeks, but we are surprised why the police have not opened an investigation into our petition against Abiodun and the APC on the votes bought by them,” the statement continued.
“It’s all over the media that Governor Dapo Abiodun bribed voters with taxpayer money.” This is why they are covering up everything and not allowing the police to do their job.
“We are requesting that the IGP, in the interest of the good people of Ogun State, allow this petition to be heard; they should not cover it up or suppress it.”
“We are aware of the Governor’s efforts to ensure that none of these investigations are carried out.
“We are pleading with the IGP to expedite a thorough investigation into how Dapo Abiodun used approximately N3 billion of taxpayers’ money to buy votes in Ogun State with the assistance of One Card Limited.”