The Federal Government on Tuesday arraigned Oladipupo Adebutu before an Ogun State High Court sitting in Abeokuta, the State capital, on seven count charges, bordering on money laundering and other offences, with case number AB/10c/2023 (FRN Vs Adebutu &Ors.
It would be recalled that Adebutu, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) candidate for the gubernatorial election held on March 18, 2023, was accused of criminal inducement during the poll by security agents alongside other members of his party.
He was alleged to have ordered through his bank the issuance of 200,000 preloaded ATM Verve cards with N10,000 and distributed the same on the day of the election across the state with the criminal intention of inducing voters in the state.
Adebutu and six other people were later charged in court by the police, during which he sneaked out of the country for months and returned in December 2023.
The prosecuting counsel, Mr. Rotimi Jacobs, earlier in his submission orally withdrew the prior information supplied and substituted the same with amended information, without any objection from the lead counsel to the defendants, Chief Gordy Uche.
While all the defendants pleaded not guilty to the seven-count charges preferred against them, their lead counsel, Chief Gordy Uche, pleaded with the court to allow the 2nd, 5th, and 10th defendants to continue to enjoy bail on earlier terms.
He then prayed the court to grant the first defendant, Oladipupo Adebutu, bail on self-recognizance, saying he came to the court on his volition.
However, his prayer that Adebutu should be granted bail on self-recognizance was opposed by the prosecuting counsel, Mr. Rotimi Jacobs, who noted that while he had no objection to the prayer for bail, he disagreed with the self-recognizance clause.
The presiding judge, Justice Abiodun Akinyemi, therefore, granted the 1st defendant bail in the sum of N1 million, with a surety in the same sum who may be a family member or bondsman, as the case was adjourned till February 7, 2024, for hearing.