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Vote buying: Adebutu, Zenith Bank, Others Face Money Laundering, Criminal Conspiracy Charges - TELL Magazine

Vote buying: Adebutu, Zenith Bank, Others Face Money Laundering, Criminal Conspiracy Charges

Oladipupo Adebutu
Oladipupo Adebutu

The Ogun State governorship candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Oladipupo Adebutu, has been arraigned for alleged vote-buying during the March 18, 2023 governorship and House of Assembly poll in the state. Adebutu and four others were, however, charged in absentia because they were allegedly at large, according to the charge sheet.
Adebutu had travelled out of the country shortly after the election which the incumbent governor, Dapo Abiodun, of the ruling All Progressives Congress, APC, won by a narrow margin, alleging a threat to his life.
In the suit instituted by the office of the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice before an Ogun State High Court sitting in Abeokuta, nine other persons associated with the PDP were also charged. They are Ogunbona Hammed, Tiamiyu Waliu, Egunsola Owolabi and Sanni Adejoke. The other defendants are Dare Ogunleye, Dare Adeoye, Dayo Fashina, Wasiu Enilolobo, and Malik Akawo.
In a separate suit, the Zenith Bank, its Managing Director, Ebenezer Onyeagwu, and the head of card services at the bank, Celestina Appeal, were dragged before the Federal High Court, Abeokuta, for allegedly aiding Adebutu to commit the alleged offence. The two cases were filed on Thursday, June 2, by the Director of Public Prosecution of the Federation, DPPF, Mohammed Abubakar; Aderonke Imana, an assistant chief State counsel, and Sani Bagudu, a senior counsel at the Department of Public Prosecution of the Federation, on behalf of the AGF and minister of justice.
In the suit before the Ogun State High Court, the federal government charged Adebutu and the fifth defendant, Adejoke Sanni, with three counts of alleged criminal conspiracy, bribery and undue influence, while the eight others were charged with vote buying and conspiracy.
The charge sheet with No AB/10c/2023, reads: “That you, (the 10 defendants) on or about 18th of March, 2023 at Ibara, Ogun State, within the jurisdiction of this honourable court, did conspire amongst yourselves to corruptly give gifts in the form of verve prepaid cards which had inscribed in them ‘Dame Caroline Oladuni Adebutu Memorial Endorsement (sic) Scheme for less privileged ‘ in order to induce voters to endeavour the return of PDP candidates during the Gubernatorial and State Assembly elections in Ogun state and you thereto committed an offence.
“That you (defendants) on or about 18th of March, 2023 at Ibara, Ogun State, within the jurisdiction of this honourable court, did corruptly give gifts in the form of verve prepaid cards which had inscribed on them ‘Dame Caroline Oladuni Adebutu Memorial Endorsement Scheme for less privileged’ in order to induce voters to endeavour the return of PDP candidates during the Gubernatorial and State Assembly elections in Ogun State and you thereby committed an offence.
“That you Oladipupo Olatunde Adebutu (now at large), Adult Male of Kensington House, Iperu, Ogun State between February-March, 2023 at Ogun State within the jurisdiction of this honourable court, did provide 200,000 prepaid verve cards loaded with N10,000 (ten thousand naira) which had inscribed on them ‘Dame Caroline Oladuni Adebutu Memorial Endorsement Scheme for less privileged” for the purpose of corruptly influencing votes to vote for PDP Candidates (Including yourself) during the Gubernatorial and State Assembly elections in Ogun state and you thereby committed an offence.
“That you, Sanni Adejoke, Adult Female of No 1, Owoseni Street, Lausa Olanbe junction, Ifo, Ogun State on or about 18th of March, 2023 at Agbara, Ogun State within the jurisdiction of this honourable court did have in your possession 131 prepaid verve cards which had inscribed on them ‘Dame Caroline Oladuni Adebutu Memorial Endorsement Scheme for less privileged ‘ for the purpose of corruptly influencing voters to vote for PDP Candidates during the Gubernatorial and State Assembly elections in Ogun State and you thereby committed an offence.”
Eight witnesses have been lined up by the prosecution to prove its case, including a police officer, three officials of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency, NDLEA, and two points of sale (POS) operators.

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