The governorship candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Ogun State, Ladi Adebutu, has urged the All Progressives Congress (APC) to stop blackmailing him, asserting that he did not engage in vote buying during the March 18 polls.
The Chairman of the APC in Ogun State, Yemi Sanusi, filed a petition with the police, calling for an investigation and the arrest of Adebutu for alleged vote buying.
However, in a statement released by the Media Director of Ladi Adebutu Campaign Organisation, Afolabi Orekoya, and made available to SAVIDNEWS on Tuesday, the claim was described as unsubstantiated. Orekoya stated that the APC and its candidate resorted to “cheap blackmail” after realizing the strength of their candidate’s petition before the tribunal.
Orekoya mentioned that despite numerous pleas from emissaries and delegations, as well as offers of monetary compensation, the APC failed to coax or intimidate Adebutu into withdrawing the petition. Consequently, the party turned to blackmail, media trials, and misconduct in an attempt to manipulate public sentiment and confuse the judiciary.
Referring to the Ogun APC Publicity Secretary, Tunde Oladunjoye’s statement on a television show, Orekoya clarified that the Adebutu family’s humanitarian gestures, such as the burial of the Adebutu matriarch, were being falsely portrayed for ulterior motives. He emphasized that such attempts to twist details were unreasonable and unconscionable.
Orekoya called on the police authorities to investigate the leak of an incomplete investigation report to the press, expressing concern about the political undertones surrounding the petition leading to the investigation.
“The PDP and Hon. Oladipupo Adebutu hereby assure the good people of Ogun that every attempt by the APC and its candidate to continue to rubbish the commitments shown by the good people of Ogun State…will be resisted,” the statement read.
Regarding the Election Petition Tribunal, Orekoya emphasized its mandate to hear all petitions arising from the February and March 2023 elections. He warned against circulating incoherent, illogical, and baseless claims, noting that such tactics would only expose the APC to ridicule.
While reaffirming their cooperation within the framework of the law, Orekoya highlighted the key issues before the Election Petition Tribunal, including over-voting, voter suppression, noncompliance with electoral laws, and the constitution. He emphasized that no distracting tactics would overshadow the substantiated evidence presented.
In conclusion, Orekoya advised the Ogun APC to focus on proving their innocence against the allegations in the petitions rather than resorting to intimidation, blackmail, and misinformation. He urged the Ogun State Governorship Election Petition Tribunal members not to be influenced by the APC’s tactics and to ensure a fair hearing while upholding the principles of the rule of law.