The Coalition of Registered Political Parties in Ogun State has cautioned the Nigeria Police Force against being used as an instrument to disrupt democracy in the State.
The group accused the police of being used by Governor Dapo Abiodun and the All Progressives Congress (APC) to intimidate other parties and their candidates.
The press conference was reacting to an exclusive story by PREMIUM TIMES on how a police report indicted the candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Ladi Adebutu, for money laundering and vote-buying, during the 18th March governorship election.
In the report submitted to the Inspector-General of Police, the Attorney-General of the Federation and INEC, the police said Mr Adebutu deployed two billion naira to buy votes through preloaded 200,000d ATM cards.
But, addressing journalists in Abeokuta on Friday, the coalition called on the police to be independent in discharging their duties.
Speaking on behalf of the group, the governorship candidate of the Social Democratic Party (SDP), Tony Ojeshina, advised Mr Abiodun and the APC to focus on the cases before the election petition tribunal rather than engaging in “cheap propaganda, media bullying and trial, rumour peddling and name calling.”
Mr Ojeshina spoke alongside representatives of the New Nigeria Peoples Party (NNPP), Action Alliance (AA), Accord Party (AP), Allied People’s Movement (APM), Because Of Our Tomorrow (BOOT party), Labour Party (LP), Action Democratic Party (ADP), African Action Congress (AAC), All Peoples Party (APP) and National Rescue Movement (NRM).
“We want to urge the Nigeria Police Force not to allow themselves to be used as an instrument of cohesion and intimidation by Prince Dapo Abiodun with his expected numbered days as the Governor of Ogun State.
“We are advising Prince Abiodun to honourably find ways to defend the hard evidence against him and his party rather than engaging in cheap propaganda, media bullying and trial, rumour peddling and name calling of a man whose mandate he wants to dubiously steal.
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“Since the time the petition was filed at the tribunal, Dapo Abiodun and his party have made frantic efforts to ensure that our candidate did not proceed with the tribunal and has failed in their several attempts to suppress Hon. Adebutu’s bid to recover the mandate of the good people of Ogun State, Prince Dapo Abiodun and his party have now resorted to engaging in media trial, blackmailing, name calling and rumour peddling against our candidate.
“We are not unaware of the antics of Abiodun and his party APC’s deliberate effort to sway public attention away from his many unforgivable transgressions in the electoral process and also to cause a distraction for the tribunal through his consistent media trial and rumour peddling against our candidate, Adebutu”, Mr Ojeshina said.
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