Ladi Adebutu has been formally charged for his alleged involvement in vote-buying in Ogun State

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On Tuesday, the Nigerian government brought Ladi Adebutu, the Peoples Democratic Party’s gubernatorial candidate in the 2023 Ogun State elections, before a High Court in Abeokuta for arraignment.

Adebutu stood trial alongside nine other individuals, with charges relating to alleged financial inducement of voters during the March 18, 2023 governorship poll in the state. These charges had been initially filed in July 2023, with the other nine defendants arraigned at that time, while Adebutu was reportedly abroad.

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During the recent hearing, the prosecution, represented by Rotimi Jacobs, informed the court of amended charges, which had been served to Adebutu. Jacobs requested the court’s acceptance of these amended charges, a motion that Gordy Uche, representing the defendants, did not oppose.

Justice Abiodun Akinyemi granted the prosecution’s application, allowing for the amended charges. Subsequently, Adebutu and six other defendants present in court entered pleas of not guilty to all charges.

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The case, labeled AB/10c/2023 (FRN vs Adebutu & Ors), alleges that Adebutu orchestrated the issuance of 200,000 preloaded ATM verve cards with N10,000 each through his bank. These cards were purportedly distributed on election day across Ogun State to sway voters.

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Adebutu’s counsel requested bail on self-recognizance, citing the short notice of the arraignment. Jacobs did not oppose this bail application.

As a result, the judge granted Adebutu bail in the sum of N1 million, with one surety of equal sum, and adjourned the trial until February 7.

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