The Ogun State chapter of the All Progressives Congress (APC) has welcomed the Peoples Democratic Party’s gubernatorial candidate of the March 18, 2023 election, Ladi Adebutu, advising him to submit to the authorities and defend himself against vote-buying and money laundering charges.
The party gave this charge in a statement issued to Ogunwatch on Tuesday by its Assistant Publicity Secretary, Olusola Blessed, in Abeokuta, the state capital.
Recall that the PDP candidate had left the country after the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) of the police in Abeokuta, in a letter dated April 16, 2023 and signed by Muhammed Babakura, a deputy commisioner of police, invited him to respond to a case of conspiracy, electoral offences and money laundering received from the Office of the Directorate of Public Prosecution (DPP) of the Federation.
PDP’s Adebutu had recently returned to the country after an eight-month medical vacation abroad.
The party said: “If it is indeed true that Adebutu has returned to the country after being away from the long arm of the law since April this year on the pretext of medical vacation, we welcome him back to his fatherland.
“We also urge him to turn himself in to the authorities and defend the allegations of vote-buying and money laundering levelled against him during the 18th March, 2023 governorship and House of Assembly elections for which some members/agents of his party have already been charged to court.”
The statement recalled that on December 9, 2023, the Ogun state PDP gave the names of its members who were charged for vote-buying by the Federal Government as Ogunbona Hammed, Tiramisu Waliu, Egunsola Owolabi, Moliki Badmus and Sanni Adejoke.”
The suspects, according to PDP, 𝘸𝘦𝘳𝘦 𝘢𝘳𝘳𝘦𝘴𝘵𝘦𝘥 𝘣𝘺 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘰𝘱𝘦𝘳𝘢𝘵𝘪𝘷𝘦𝘴 𝘰𝘧 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘕𝘢𝘵𝘪𝘰𝘯𝘢𝘭 𝘋𝘳𝘶𝘨 𝘓𝘢𝘸 𝘌𝘯𝘧𝘰𝘳𝘤𝘦𝘮𝘦𝘯𝘵𝘈𝘨𝘦𝘯𝘤𝘺 (NDLEA) 𝘪𝘯 various locations around the state during the 18𝘵𝘩 𝘔𝘢𝘳𝘤𝘩 2023 g𝘰𝘷𝘦𝘳𝘯𝘰𝘳𝘴𝘩𝘪𝘱 𝘢𝘯𝘥 𝘏𝘰𝘶𝘴𝘦𝘰𝘧 𝘈𝘴𝘴𝘦𝘮𝘣𝘭𝘺’𝘴 𝘦𝘭𝘦𝘤𝘵𝘪𝘰𝘯s, following which ATM cards allegedly meant for vote buying were found on them, adding that Adebutu’s name featured prominently in the police investigation and the subsequent charges by the Federal Government against the suspects.
The statement said : “He should be honourable enough to fulfill the promise of his lawyers to the police in the letter dated May 2, 2023 by turning himself in to the police.
“He should also allow himself to be served the court papers on the vote-buying and money laundering charges by the Federal Government and keep his date in the court of law.
“Hopefully, Adebutu would have made himself available to be served the court papers and tried along with others at the next hearing. The trial of the already arraigned members of PDP in the vote-buying and money laundering charges resumes in February 2024 before the Honourable Justice Abiodun Akinyemi of the Ogun State High Court, Abeokuta.”