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FG files vote-buying, bribery charges against Adebutu, others

By Charles Coffie-Gyamfi, Abeokuta
07 June 2023   |   12:01 pm
The Federal Government has charged the candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the March 18, 2023 governorship election in Ogun State, Ladi Adebutu, a commercial bank and its managing director, to court for conspiracy, bribery and money laundering.

Ladi Adebutu

The Federal Government has charged the candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the March 18, 2023 governorship election in Ogun State, Ladi Adebutu, a commercial bank and its managing director, to court for conspiracy, bribery and money laundering.

According to the charge sheet filed at the Ogun State High Court, Abeokuta Division and dated June 2, Adebutu, alongside Ogunbona Hammed, Tiamiyu Waliu, Egunsola Owolabi, Sanni Adegoke, Dare Lukman Ogunleye, Dayo Fasina, Wasiu Enilolobo and Malik Badmus, are being prosecuted on a four-count charge.

The charges were filed by Director, Public Prosecutions of the Federation, M.B. Abubakar; the Assistant Chief State Counsel, Aderonke Imana and Senior State Counsel, Bagudu Sani, on behalf of the Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice.

The bank was charged for failing to report suspicious transactions on verve cards with the inscription Dame Oladuni Memorial Endorsement Scheme for Less Privileged between February and March 2023 and thereby committing an offence contrary to Section 7 (1) (a) of the Money Laundering (Prevention and Prohibition) Act 2022; and failing to verify the identity of customers carrying out electronic transactions on verve cards with the inscription Dame Oladuni Memorial Endorsement Scheme for Less privileged, thereby committing an offence contrary to Section 37 of the Cybercrimes (Prohibition, Prevention, etc.) Act 2022.

Adebutu was further accused of providing 200,000 prepaid verve cards loaded with N10,000 each and inscribed with the same name “for the purpose of corruptly influencing voters to vote for PDP candidates” during the said elections.

Adebutu and his agents were said to have distributed the cards throughout the over 5,000 polling stations and positioned Point of Sales (POS) operators so that each voter could receive money at POS terminals.

The cards were said to have been funded directly from Adebutu’s account, with the lawmaker allegedly paying over N2 billion directly from his account.