A civil society organisation, Committee for the Protection of Peoples Mandate (CPPM), has urged the Nigerian government to issue an international warrant of arrest on Ladi Adebutu.
Mr Adebutu was the governorship candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Ogun State in the 2023 election. A police report indicted him for allegedly deploying two billion naira for vote buying during the election.
The demand for his arrest was made in a statement made available to PREMIUM TIMES on Wednesday by the Executive Director of the organisation, Nelson Ekujumi.
Mr Adebutu’s alleged offence violates Section 121 (2) of the Electoral Act 2022, which states that a: “Voter commits an offence of bribery where, before, or during an election, directly or indirectly, by his or herself, or by any other person, on his or her behalf, receives, agrees, or contracts for any money, gift, loan, or valuable consideration, office, place of employment, for himself or herself, or any other person, for voting or agreeing to vote, or for refraining or agreeing to refrain from voting at any such elections.”
It would be recalled that this newspaper had exclusively reported how a police report documented Mr Adebutu for allegedly contracting a company to preload 250 000 ATM cards allegedly used to bribe voters.
EXCLUSIVE: PDP chieftain in trouble as police uncover shocking N2billion vote-buying scheme
Meanwhile, Mr Adebutu, who last week said he had fled the country over a threat to his life, has not honoured the police invitation over the matter.
Top Nigerian politician flees Nigeria, alleges threat to life
The group said it had followed with keen interest the police investigation of Mr Adebutu in the alleged vote-buying saga.
“According to Nelson Ekujumi, CPPM physically witnessed this flagrant violation of the electoral Act on election day by Mr Ladi Adebutu and his party from the reports of it’s deployed observers as well as through complaints by some voters who felt that they were deceived to vote and collect ten thousand naira when some of the pre-loaded ATM cards could not be redeemed, while others were, unaware that they were accessories to a crime.
“This anomaly and electoral Act violation is contained in the CPPM observation report and has now been corroborated by the report of the Nigeria Police investigation of this crime against the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. This case must be pursued to a logical conclusion to serve as a deterrent to politicians and sanitise our democracy,” the statement added.
CPPM added that the report of the Nigeria Police investigation with regards to “the inducement of voters with the pre-loaded ATM cards with the inscription Dame Caroline Oladunni, provision of POS terminals within the vicinity of polling stations in Ogun State on election day to redeem the ten thousand naira vote-buying money is public knowledge and verifiable.
READ ALSO: EXCLUSIVE: Police speak on N2 billion vote-buying allegation involving Adebutu
“The Committee for the Protection of Peoples Mandate (CPPM) used the occasion of the press statement to commend the security agencies for this painstaking and thorough report and for the arrest of some of the perpetrators of these violations of the Electoral Act on election day for which their statements and exhibits were used as part of the investigation to establish that the PDP gubernatorial candidate, Mr Adebutu, who is now on the run, has a case to answer.
The civil society organisation then called on the Nigeria Police to interface with Interpol to issue an international warrant of arrest on Mr Adebutu, “who is trying to deflect from his alledged violation of the electoral Act by fleeing the country under the guise of his life being.”
Support PREMIUM TIMES' journalism of integrity and credibility
Good journalism costs a lot of money. Yet only good journalism can ensure the possibility of a good society, an accountable democracy, and a transparent government.
For continued free access to the best investigative journalism in the country we ask you to consider making a modest support to this noble endeavour.
By contributing to PREMIUM TIMES, you are helping to sustain a journalism of relevance and ensuring it remains free and available to all.Donate
TEXT AD: Call Willie - +2348098788999