The Federal Government through the Attorney-General of the Federation has charged the candidate of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) in the March 18 governorship election in Ogun State, Ladi Adebutu, with alleged vote-buying, conspiracy, bribery and money laundering.
Also charged to court alongside Adebutu are Zenith Bank Plc and its Managing Director, Ebenezer Onyeagwu.
In March, the Ogun State chairperson of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Abdullahi Sanusi, petitioned the Inspector-General of Police, Usman Baba, accusing Adebutu of distributing ATM cards preloaded with N10,000 to buy votes at the polling booth on election day.
In a statement through his media aide, Afolabi Orekoya, Adebutu had denied engaging in vote buying during the election.
Orekoya described the claim as unsubstantiated, saying the APC and its candidate have “decided to go for cheap blackmail after realising that our candidate and PDP’s petition before the tribunal is unequivocally tight.”
He said the APC resorted to blackmail after failing in its efforts to coerce, intimidate and harass Adebutu to withdraw the petition.
Adebutu eventually lost the election after polling 262, 383 votes to return second behind Governor Dapo Abiodun of the APC, who polled 276, 298 votes. He has however filed a petition before the election petition tribunal to challenge Abiodun’s return.