N2bn vote buying: Adebutu sues Malami, others, wants police interim report leak investigated

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Oladipupo Adebutu, the Peoples Democratic Party’s candidate for governor in Ogun State’s general elections in 2023, has urged the police to look into how information from an incomplete investigation’s interim report was leaked to the media.

Adebutu questioned how the police interim report reached the media given that the investigation was still ongoing.

However, the governorship candidate confirmed the rumour that he had filed lawsuits against Abubakar Malami, the Attorney General of the Federation, Usman Baba, the Inspector-General of Police, Yusuf Bichi, the Director of the State Security Services, and Abdulrasheed Bawa, the Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, over allegations of vote-buying made against him.

When responding to our correspondent on Tuesday, the media director of the Ladi Adebutu Campaign Organisation, Afolabi Orekoya, stated, “It is just a petition.”

Orekoya, however, denied the claim that she was involved in a N2 billion vote-buying scheme and called the allegations baseless in a statement.

The declaration was made in response to a report by some online media that alleged vote-buying by the Ladi Adebutu Campaign Organisation during the state’s governorship election.

The All Progressives Congress in the state and the governor-elect, Dapo Abiodun, made the allegations in the statement, which Orekoya vehemently denied, and called them baseless attempts to weaken their compelling case before the Tribunal.

Recall that the PDP in the state had contested Abiodun’s victory and had taken both parties to the election petition tribunal.

Orekoya claimed that previous attempts by the APC and its candidate to coerce, threaten, and otherwise harass Adebutu and his family into withdrawing their petition had failed.

Therefore, he claimed that the development did not surprise him and that the APC had used media trials, nefarious strategies, and deception to sway public opinion and perplex the judiciary.

“The unfounded claims that a particular “PDP Chieftain in trouble as police uncover shocking N2 billion vote-buying scheme” by some online news platforms led by Premium Times are nothing but additional evidence that Ogun APC and Dapo Abiodun have decided to resort to cheap blackmail after realising that our candidate and the PDP’s petition before the Tribunal is unquestionably tight,” read the statement.

The Ladi Adebutu Campaign Organisation said, “This has not come as a surprise to the Ladi Adebutu Campaign Organisation because, after failing in their efforts to persuade, intimidate, and harass the PDP Candidate, Hon (Dr) Oladipupo Adebutu, and his family to withdraw the petition despite pleas from their emissaries, delegations, and offer of monetary compensation; the APC and its candidate, Mr. Dapo Abio

“Members of the public will remember that immediately following the election, Mr. Tunde Oladunjoye, the Ogun APC Publicity Secretary, claimed on a Channels TV show that one of the many humanitarian gestures of the Adebutu family was for other purposes and intent in an effort to persuade Hon. Oladipupo Adebutu to drop the petition against his party (APC).

For the avoidance of doubt, the burial of Late Dame Caroline Adebutu, the matriarch of the Adebutu family, will take place on February 11, 2023, and it will be unreasonable and unconscionable for anyone acting under the guise of paid reporting to attempt to change the facts.

The statement continued, “It should be noted by members of the public that they are preempting this purported “interim report” of an investigation—which the APC also mentioned—that has not yet been completed. Therefore, it is obvious that Mr. Abiodun and his group’s attempt to pose as police whistleblowers is a malicious attempt to blackmail our principal.

We demand that the police investigate how “explicit” information from the interim report of an ongoing investigation was revealed to the media, despite the fact that the petition that sparked the investigation is tainted with political overtones.

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