Home News Ogun PDP Guber Candidate Ladi Adebutu Operates 77 Bank Accounts With 13...

Ogun PDP Guber Candidate Ladi Adebutu Operates 77 Bank Accounts With 13 Banks

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..may be Investigated over N2bn Allegedly Spent on Vote Buying

Thursday May 25, 2023

The Nigeria Police Force has recommended for the investigation of candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the last governorship election in Ogun State, Mr. Ladi Adebutu, over allegations bordering on breach of electoral and financial laws.

Besides Adebutu, the police are also seeking the investigation of a bank and a fintech firm for conspiracy, aiding and abetting crime.

The police stated that its investigation of those arrested and those invited for investigation and inquiry revealed that the suspects were given the tier-one bank’s prepaid verve ATM cards, loaded with N10,000 each to induce electorate to vote Adebutu as governor in the 2023 gubernatorial election.

Specifically, the PDP guber candidate was being accused of printing a total of 200,000 ATM cards in the name of an endowment scheme which was distributed during the governorship election to allegedly induce voters.

The 200,000 cards with a sum of 10,000 each sums up to N2 billion in bribe or vote buying.

The recommendation for investigation was contained in an Interim Police Investigation Report dated May 12, signed by the Deputy Commissioner of Police, Criminal Investigation Department, Ogun State, DCP Mohammed Babakura.

The report according to a Certified True Copy (CTC) seem by THISDAY, was titled, “Re: Case of Bribery/Conspiracy and Undue Influence, Breach of electoral Laws, Prohibiting Vote Trading, Deliberate Facilitation of Money Laundering, Connivance to Defeat Monetary Policy of the Federation against Hon. Ladi Adebutu.”

According to the interim report, Adebutu was said to have asked the bank for 200,000 pieces of ATM cards with the inscription “Dame Caroline Oladunni Adebutu Memorial Endowment Scheme”, with the sum of N10,000 in each card.

While the request was said to have been made by Adebutu on February 27, 2023, all the cards were reportedly loaded on March 16 and 17, 2023.

“Hon. Ladi Adebutu Operates 77 bank accounts with 13 banks, with a total inflow of Nine Billion, five hundred and forty-three million, four hundred and forty-eight thousand, four hundred and seventy naira and seventy-eight kobo from July 17, 2012 to April 20, 2023.

“It is also worthy of note that observing from the summary of accounts, there were major heavy transactions emanating from and concluding in accounts all belonging to Hon. Ladi Adebutu, which is an indication of self-money laundering.

“It is pertinent to note that the cards were specifically loaded two days to the gubernatorial elections on March 18, 2023 and on the eve of the election, also considering that these cards were distributed on elections day, it is safe to infer that the purpose of the prepaid cards was for vote buying, this premise is also corroborated by the POS operators who stated that some of their customers who came to withdraw money using the aforementioned cards stated clearly that the cards were given to them as a reward for voting for PDP.

“Drawing from the statements given by the POS operators who are witnesses in this case, several funds withdrawal transactions were carried out before, during and after the 2023 Gubernatorial election using the Dame Caroline Oladunni Adebutu Memorial Endowment Scheme prepaid cards containing ten thousand naira each however, not all of the cards could be successfully dispense funds,” the report read in part.

The police added from the statement of accounts/transaction history gotten from the POS operators, it was observed that all the fund withdrawals made using the said cards uniquely had a description “Bank Card,” as against what would ordinarily be the account holders name, adding that “this -lends further credence to the fact that a prepaid card is not tied to any personal account.

“Secondly, a careful observation of the statements of account/transaction history of the POS operators, reveals that a lot of fund withdrawals were done on March 18 and 19, 2023 which had the description “Bank Card.”

“Therefore, the facts that these prepaid cards were requested on February 27, 2023 and delivered on March 16 and 17, 2023, being the eve of gubernatorial elections and distributed to ‘voters only’ with traceable fund withdrawals being made from the prepaid cards during and after elections is a clear indicator that the whole act is a calculated attempt at vote buying”.

While the police pointed out that the cards had the inscription “Dame Caroline Oladunni Adebutu Memorial Endorsement scheme” printed on it in addition to her photograph, the police said that “a quick internet search revealed that no such foundation/entity named “Dame Caroline Oladunni Adebutu Empowerment Scheme” exists neither is any such registered under the Corporate Affairs Commission”.

The force in addition claimed that all effort to reach and invite the directing members of the said Empowerment Scheme, proved futile, as no records of its existence could be found.

“That the actions of Hon. Ladi Adebutu and the PDP, directly inducing Voters by giving them each, through preloaded prepaid ATM Verve Cards to buy their votes, is in total violation of sections 121 and 127 of the Electoral Act 2022 of the {Federal Republic of Nigeria.”

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