The Ogun State chapter of All Progressives Congress (APC) has lashed out at the defeated candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the last governorship election in the state, Ladi Adebutu, advising him to “face the subsisting criminal charges against him and stop patronising President Bola Tinubu.”
Adebutu, who recently returned to Nigeria after over eight months of “medical vacation” abroad, was quoted to have said at a new year party that “President Bola Ahmed Tinubu belongs to us all. Nobody can claim to the presidency, it belongs to all Nigerians. Stop harassing us, we are all Tinubu’s children.”
However, the Ogun State APC in a statement issued in Abeokuta on Monday and signed by its state publicity secretary, Tunde Oladunjoye, advised Adebutu to “stop evading court papers and answer the criminal charges against him rather than resort to vaingloriously patronising President Bola Tinubu.”
The statement said: “It was not Tinubu who asked him to print over 200,000 ATM-like cards allegedly used to carry out vote buying during the election. Tinubu will never support criminality and attempts to destroy the democratic process in the country. He will not condone people who subvert the democratic process through vote buying. He should wait patiently for his day in court rather than trying to patronise Tinubu. He should count Tinubu out of his predicament.”
The statement reads further: “President Tinubu is, no doubt, the father of the nation, just like Prince Dapo Abiodun is the father of Ogun State . Mr. President needs no reminders on that. As a genuine pro-democracy activist who paid enormous sacrifices for the democracy we now enjoy, President Tinubu will never provide cover for criminality by anyone no matter how rich or solicitous. Our dear President will never stand in the way of the law.
“Our advice is that Adebutu should stop gambling and running from pillar to post. No one is above the law. The returnee should stop evading court papers and answer to the criminal charges of vote buying and money laundering against him. He is only being intimidated by his own shadow
“Adebutu should stop advertising his ignorant and stubborn position that he could not be tried for laundering his “own money”. If he feels so strong on this naïve claim and funny stance, he should go and express it in the court of law.”
Recall that the Ogun State PDP had in a press statement issued on the 9th December, 2023, said some of its members were charged for vote-buying by the Federal Government. It gave their names as Ogunbona Hammed, Tiramisu Waliu, Egunsola Owolabi, Moliki Badmus and Sanni Adejoke.
The PDP, by its own account, said its members who are standing trial for vote-buying made statements linking Adebutu and four others who were at large.
Over 52 debit cards with the inscription “Madam Caroline Adebutu” were found on the accused , along with PDP polling agents cards; and they have since been admitted in evidence by the Police.
“Adebutu should forget about patronising our dear president and demonstrate leadership by facing the law and not use his members and agents already facing trial as pawns. How can those who were found with thousands of preloaded debit cards with the inscription of “Madam Dame Caroline Adebutu” be charged for vote-buying and the person who provided the funds, as attested to in writing his bankers, Zenith Bank Plc , would shun court papers and carry on as if he is above the law?”, the APC asked.