Top PDP Politician Lands in Big Trouble as Police Investigate Him over N2bn Vote-Buying Scheme
- The ruling APC has accused the PDP governorship candidate in Ogun state, Ladi Adebutu, of massive bribes
- Adebutu was alleged to have preloaded ATM cards with N10,000 each and distributed them to voters in Ogun state
- Police operatives are currently investigating the matter, with the PDP candidate believed to have fled Nigeria
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Abeokuta, Ogun state - A key chieftain of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Ogun state, Ladi Adebutu, has landed in trouble after the police uncovered a shocking N2 billion vote-buying scheme.
It would be recalled that Adebutu disclosed last week that he fled Nigeria over alleged threats to life. However, he has now been indicted for money laundering and vote-buying in respect of the 2023 general elections.
Adebutu was the PDP governorship candidate in Ogun state, but he lost to incumbent governor Dapo Abiodun of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in a keenly-contested poll.
Police authorities allege that Adebutu approved N2 billion to bribe voters to vote for him during the March election.
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According to Premium Times in a report published on Monday, May 22, the allegation is contained in the interim report of a police investigation into a petition written to the Inspector-General of Police (IGP), Usman Alkali Baba, by the Ogun state chairman of the APC, Abdullahi Sanusi.
The petitioner claimed that Adebutu distributed automated teller machine (ATM) cards preloaded with N10,000 to induce voters on election day (Saturday, March 18, 2023).
Adebutu reacts to allegation
Although Adebutu has not honoured the police's invitation to speak on the allegations, Afolabi Orekoya, his spokesperson, denied the allegation.
The PDP had already instituted a petition at the election tribunal to challenge the APC’s victory; thus, Orekoya said his principal was only committed to ‘reclaiming his mandate’.
According to Orekoya, the said ATM cards the police investigated were issued for the empowerment of poor people -- and not for vote-buying.
Politicians and vote-buying in Nigeria
Money politics has become a common feature in Nigeria, arising from poverty, apathy, and close competition on party manifestos, among others.
Vote buying and selling are consistent with the continued materialisation and commercialisation of political parties.
To address the widespread vote-buying menace, penalties were stipulated in the amended Electoral Act 2022.
The offence attracts a fine of N500,000 or 12 months imprisonment, or both.
Buhari explains how he ‘stopped’ vote-buying during 2023 general elections
Earlier, Legit.ng reported that President Muhammadu Buhari explained that he did his best to ensure that vote-buying did not mar the 2023 presidential election.
The president, while meeting with the outgoing United States Ambassador, Mary Beth Leonard, at the State House in Abuja, said he told Nigerian electorates to collect money from candidates vying for elective positions at the election but vote their conscience.
EU mission says vote-buying marred governorship elections across Nigeria
Legit.ng also reported that the European Union (EU) Election Observation Mission to Nigeria 2023 knocked the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) for failing to meet Nigeria’s electoral process expectations.
In his preliminary statement on the governorship and state Houses of Assembly elections, the Chief Observer of the EU Election Observation Mission, Barry Andrews, said Nigerians craved true democracy and were ready to be involved in the electioneering process.