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Osun guber: EFCC arraigns 4 for vote buying

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BLESSING AKOROWOSI, Osogbo

 

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, Ilorin Zonal Command on Monday, arraigned four persons for alleged bribery of voters before Osun State High Court, Osogbo.

 

The suspects are: Adeyemo Bahiru Abiodun, Abidogun Ismail, Jimoh Kazeem and Yekini Nurudeen Abiodun

The suspects were arraigned before Justice Mathias Agboola of the State High Court, Oshogbo, Osun State.

 

The suspects were arrested on July 16, 2022 by operatives of the EFCC at different polling units following credible intelligence that the defendants were trading vote for cash to induce voters to vote Governor Adegboyega Oyetola.

 

Specifically, Adeyemi, Abidogun and Jimoh were arrested at Polling Unit 002, Ward 2, Ababu, Isale Osun, while Abiodun was picked up at Unit 2, Isale Agbara, Oshogbo.

 

While the charge of Adeyemo, Abidogun and Jimoh were consolidated, Yekini was prosecuted on a separate charge before the same court.

 

The charge against the trio of Adeyemo, Abidogun and Jimoh reads:

“Conspiracy to bribe contrary to section 121 (5) and punishable under section 121 (1) of the Electoral Act, 2022

 

“Adeyemo Bashiru Abiodun, Abidogun Ismail and Jimoh Kazeem on the 16th of July 2022 in Osogbo within the jurisdiction of this Honourable Court conspired to corruptly make monetary gifts to voters at unit 2, ward 2, Isale Osun, Osogbo, Osun State in order to induce them to procure the return of Mr Adegboyega Oyetola to an elective office of the Governor of Osun State at the Osun State Gubernatorial Election”

 

For Nurudeen, the Charge reads:

“Bribery contrary to Section 121 (1) (a) and punishable under Section 121 (1) (d) of Electoral Act, 2022.

“You Nurudeen Abiodun on 16th July, 2022 at Oshogbo within the Judicial Division of this Honourable Court corruptly made monetary gift to voters at Pilling Unit 002, Ward 8, Are Agbo Isale Agbara in order to induce them to procure the return of Adegboyega Oyetola to an elective office of Governor of Osun State Gubernatorial Election of 16th July, 2022.”

 

The defendants pleaded not guilty to the charge.

 

Upon their pleas, the prosecutors, Sesan Ola and Andrew Akoja asked the court to fix a date for hearing and remand the defendants in the Correctional Center pending trial.

 

In response, the defence counsel represented by N. T Adekilekun and M. O Sambo through respective oral applications prayed the Court to admit the defendants bail.

 

They argued that the defendants had earlier been granted court bail by a Kwara State High Court, Ilorin and had not breached the terms assuring that they would always be available in court to stand their trial.

 

Opposing the bail application, the prosecution counsel contended that electoral offences are grievous crimes and the court to consider the weight of the evidence before it and the prevalence of the offence.

 

In his ruling, Justice Mathias Agboola granted the defendants bail in the sum of N2million with one surety each in like sum. The surety, who must not be below Grade Level 13 in the State Civil Services, must deposit their Identity card with a recent passport photograph to the Registrar of the court.

 

He adjourned the two cases till November 21 and 28, 2022 for commencement of trial.

 

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