Adebutu arraigned for vote-buying, gets N1m bail

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The Federal Government, on Tuesday, arraigned the 2023 governorship candidate of the People’s Democratic Party in Ogun State, Oladipupo Adebutu, on seven counts, bordering on vote-buying and other electoral offences during the March 18, 2023 governorship poll.

Adebutu was arraigned alongside five others before Justice Abiodun Akinyemi of the Ogun State High Court on Kobape Road, Abeokuta.

The defendants, however, pleaded not guilty to the charges in the criminal case marked AB/10c/2023.

The ruling All Progressives Congress had dragged Adebutu before the police, alleging that he induced voters during the poll by allegedly giving out 200,000 vouchers preloaded with N10,000 to prospective voters.

Based on the APC petition, the Federal Government filed charges against Adebutu and his PDP allies last year but their arraignment was stalled as Adebutu was said to have travelled out of the country for medical treatment.

On his return to the country in December 2023, Adebutu presented himself to the police.

On Tuesday, he was physically present in court to answer the charges, to which he pleaded not guilty.

Earlier at the proceedings, the prosecuting counsel for the Federal Government, Rotimi Jacobs (SAN), told the court that charges against the defendants had been amended.

He applied to substitute the old charge with the new one, a prayer the court granted as the defence counsel, Gordy Uche (SAN), did not object.

After the arraignment, Uche pleaded with the court to admit Adebutu to bail on self-recognizance, saying he came to the court of his volition and he would not abscond.

But the prosecutor said while he was not opposed to the bail application, it should not be on self-recognizance.

In his ruling, Justice Akinyemi granted Adebutu N1m bail with one surety in like sum.

The judge said the surety may be a family member or bondsman.

The case adjourned till today (Wednesday) for the commencement of trial.