Ogun 2023 governorship election: How Abiodun, APC suppresses police report on vote buying

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By Afolabi Orekoya

The Governorship Candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party, Hon. Oladipupo Adebutu and Ogun State Chapter of the Peoples Democratic Party are aware that the governor of Ogun State, Dapo Abiodun and the APC in Ogun State are putting untold and unbearable pressure on and threatening the Ogun State Commissioner of Police and his officers to suppress the release and distort the findings of the Investigation ordered by the the immediate past Inspector General of Police based on our petition dated May 2, 2023

In support of our petition and in addition to the evidence made available to the police by our party which have aided a thorough investigation of our petition, the police questioned enough witnesses, got facts and information which we believed to have enriched the report that has since been concluded. Yet the police have refused to submit and release the findings and report of the investigation. Information at our disposal indicates that the findings clearly established the diversion of Ogun State funds for the purpose of buying votes to ensure the re-election of Dapo Abiodun, the woeful performing governor of Ogun State, who was roundly rejected by the majority of the Ogun State electorate which led the governor and APC to resort to ballot snatching, poll disruption, destruction of electoral materials as well as physical attacks on supporters and sympathizers of our party, PDP.

It was the same police who without interviewing or taking statements from those against whom the APC levelled allegations of vote buying hurriedly sent in an interim report and released same to the press.

The Federal Ministry of Justice in a most unprofessional manner and in clear abuse of its prosecutorial powers promptly charged our candidate and supporters before the Ogun State High Court based on the incomplete and inchoate investigation report. When they clearly lacked the power under Section 145(2) of the Electoral Act 2022 to prosecute elctoral offence.

The powers to prosecute electoral offences is exclusively the preserve of the Independent National Electoral commission (INEC). The partisan and unprofessional action of the Federal Ministry of justice under the control of members of the APC was designed for media sensationalism to influence the ongoing petition against Dapo Abiodun and the APC at the Ogun State Governorship Election Tribunal.

The police who hurriedly submitted an Interim report to aid the untoward and unwholesome design of the APC to intimidate us and our candidate to withdraw and abandon our election petition is now unwilling to release the report of the investigation of our petition, to give room for the report to be distorted and manipulated against the actual findings of the investigation.
APC supporters have openly been boasting that the report of the investigation will be manipulated and will not see the light of the day. And that whatever the actual facts the report will exonerate Dapo Abiodun and APC. We did not believe the boast, however, the delay in the submission and release of the report have given us concern that the boast might be true after all.

The President had at the ECOWAS Summit before the whole world pledge his commitment to Democracy and the Rule of Law. The rule of law is the equal treatment of all before the law without bias and favouritism, irrespective of political affiliation. We believe how the report of this investigation is handled will be a litmust test of that commitment and pledge before the whole world.

We warn that findings of the Investigation should not be tampered with and distorted. Let the world know what transpired days before and during the March 18, 2023 governorship election In Ogun State. The interim report of the APC petition against us have been submitted and released. Let the report of our own be submitted and released. What is good for the gander is good for the goose.

We Call on the police in Ogun State to submit the report of the investigation as it is. We will not accept any distorted and manipulated report.

The Inspector General Police should be the true tiger against crime that he has promised. We urge him to ensure that the findings are not distorted and manipulated. And that those who have committed criminal Infractions of looting Ogun State government funds to buy votes, engage thugs to snatch ballot boxes and papers and destroy them and cause harm to our supporters and sympathisers are brought to book.

Truly, let the Rule of Law hold and prevail.

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