Nigerian digital payment company, Interswitch Limited on Wednesday testified in the vote-buying case filed by the Federal government against the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Ogun State, Ladi Adebutu before a State High Court sitting in Abeokuta.
The Federal government had dragged Adebutu and nine others to the court over allegation vote buying during the March 18 governorship election in the state.
In the suit marked, AB/10c/2023 (FRN Vs Adebutu &Ors), the FG alleged that Adebutu ordered through his bank the issuance of N200,000 preloaded ATM verve cards with N10,000 and distributed same on the day of election across the State with an intent of inducing voters in the state.
At resumed hearing on Wednesday, the Federal Government, led by its counsel, Rotimi Jacobs called three witnesses, including an official of Interswitch Ltd., against Adebutu.
One of the witnesses, Seyi Binuyo, a Scheme Managing Executive at Interswitch Ltd., told the court that the verve cards were dully approved by his company.
He added that, the request for the design of the cards followed all the stipulated requirements and guidelines of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).
Binuyo said Interswitch’s approved the cards after due diligence, saying “we reviewed the guidelines and checked through request for the cards before giving our approval”.
The certificate of approval for the cards was therefore tendered by the prosecuting counsel and was admitted as exhibit.
Other witnesses called included voters who claimed that they were offered the preloaded cards at their polling units.
All the witnesses were also cross examined by the defense counsel, Gordy Uche.
Justice Abiodun Akinyemi however adjourned the case till 19 and 20, March for continuation of hearing.
Speaking with journalists, the defense counsel said, “Today we had witnesses called by the prosecuting counsel and we crossed examined them. The prosecuting counsel has said he still has many more witnesses, but we will be back here to continue with the evidence.
On his part, the prosecuting counsel, said, when the case resumes, the Federal government would call more witnesses to prove its case.
He said, “We called three witnesses and they were all crossed examined by the defendants, but we will continue with our witnesses. We have called three witnesses so far and it is now left for the court to believe or disbelieve them.