Police, NDLEA present evidences against Adebutu on vote buying
The Nigerian police and National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA), yesterday, released multiple evidences against the candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Oladipupo Adebutu, over the allegation of vote buying before the governorship election petition tribunal sitting in Abeokuta, Ogun State capital.
Those pieces of evidence were tendered through counsel to the second respondent (Governor Dapo Abiodun), Chief Wole Olanipekun (SAN). The documents include reports from NDLEA, dated March 18, 2023, in relation to possession of preloaded ATM cards with inscription of Mrs. Caroline Adebutu, mother of Ladi Adebutu.
The evidence also includes a police investigation report of bribery, among others, dated May 10, 2023 as well as an updated investigation report case of bribery, conspiracy, undue influence and others dated June 7, 2023.
All the documents were accordingly certified and tendered after he had earlier prayed the court for 30 minutes to stand down to enable the second respondent to tidy up some issues.
Meanwhile, counsel to the petitioners, Gordy Uche (SAN), who objected to all the tendered documents, said there was earlier agreement among the parties during pre-hearing that a party seeking to tender documents must give the other side 24 hours notice before tendering the documents.
He stressed that the documents about to be tendered were never front-loaded in the petition, adding that two of the reports were just certified. He, however, reserved his objection till his final address, including the tendered WAEC certificate of the second respondent, as he prayed the tribunal for a two-hour stand down to study the documents accordingly, which was granted by the panel.
Olanipekun, however, agreed with the counsel to the petitioner that a stand down was necessary to enable them to study the documents but said one hour would be enough.
Meanwhile, Olanipekun formally applied to close the case of the second respondent.
The tribunal, therefore, granted the prayer of counsel to the second respondent, while the interim police report was marked as RA15 and that of the NDLEA marked as RA16. Also, the original result of the second respondent submitted was accepted as an exhibit of the panel in tandem with its procedure.
It adjourned the case till today, August 9, 2023, for continuation of hearing.
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