According to a report by Vanguard on February 6, 2024, Ladi Adebutu, the gubernatorial candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the 2023 general election in Ogun State, was arraigned before a state High Court in Abeokuta.
Alongside nine others, Adebutu faced amended charges filed by the Federal Government in a case that was initiated in July 2023.
The charges pertained to allegations of financial inducement of voters during the governorship election held on March 18, 2023.
Earlier proceedings had seen the arraignment of the other nine defendants, with Adebutu reportedly out of the country at the time.
During the recent hearing, the Federal Government’s counsel, Rotimi Jacobs, informed the court that the charges had been amended and had been served to Adebutu, who was a significant defendant in the case.
Jacobs requested the court’s acceptance of the amended charges, with the defendants’ counsel, Gordy Uche, not objecting to the request.
Justice Abiodun Akinyemi granted the application, and Adebutu, along with six other defendants present in court, pleaded not guilty to all the charges. In the suit with the reference AB/10c/2023 (FRNvsAdebutu & Ors), the Federal Government alleged that Adebutu,
through his bank, ordered the issuance of 200,000 preloaded ATM verve cards worth N10,000 each. These cards were said to have been distributed on the day of the election across the state with the aim of inducing voters.
Adebutu’s counsel requested the court to grant him bail on self-recognizance, stating that he was served with the charges on Tuesday morning and voluntarily appeared in court. Jacobs did not object to the bail application.
Consequently, the judge granted Adebutu bail in the sum of N1 million, with one surety of the same amount, and adjourned the case for trial until February 7.
After the court session, the Federal Government’s counsel confirmed that Adebutu had been served with the charges on Tuesday. Adebutu’s counsel expressed satisfaction that his client had presented himself in court, refuting speculations that he had evaded arrest.
He emphasized Adebutu’s readiness to face trial and clarified that the charges against his client were unrelated to money laundering.