By Daud Olatunji
The Peoples Democratic Party in Ogun State, on Monday, issued a 72-hour ultimatum to the state’s Commissioner of Police, Abiodun Alamutu, to release the report on the allegation of vote-buying levelled against the Governor Dapo Abiodun and his party, the All Progressives Congress.
The PDP Chairman, Sikirulahi Ogundele, issued the ultimatum at a press briefing held in Abeokuta, the state capital.
The Independent National Electoral Commission had declared Abiodun the winner of the March 18, 2023 governorship election.
The PDP governorship candidate in the state, Ladi Adebutu, who had dragged Abiodun to tribunal also petitioned the Inspector General of Police, accusing Abiodun of vote buying and unleashing violence during the poll.
The PDP chairman said the party’s petition was submitted during the administration of the immediate-past IGP, Alkali Baba but had not been concluded as of the time he was sacked.
Ogundele expressed worry that the investigation should have been concluded.
He said, “The PDP was aware that Governor Abiodun and his party, APC were putting unbearable pressure and as well threatening the Ogun State Commissioner of Police, Abiodun Alamutu, and his officers to allegedly suppress the release and distort the findings of the investigation ordered by the immediate past Inspector General of Police, Baba Alkali based on the opposition party’s petition dated May 2, 2023.
“It is clear that Governor Dapo Abiodun after having a hint that many revelations on how he has diverted taxpayers’ money to pay One Card Nigeria Limited owned by Mr Tunde Odulaja up to billions of Naira to produce cards to buy votes in the March 18, Gubernatorial election.
“We are also aware that Governor Dapo Abiodun is trying to suppress the report because he knows the investigations have uncovered many atrocities he has perpetuated with his co-travelers with evidence provided by various witnesses and facts made available and how government accounts were used to buy votes.
“The Commissioner of Police is hereby given three days ultimatum to release the report of the investigation or else.”
When contacted for a reaction to the allegation, the Police Public Relations Officer in the state, Omolola Odutola, said she was not aware of the matter.
She said, “I am not aware of this. My boss has not briefed me on this. I prefer to comment on heinous crimes and matters that DPOs can report in remote areas.
“I am sorry I honestly don’t have a comment on this, thank you for your understanding.”
Meanwhile, the Publicity Secretary of the APC in the state, Tunde Oladunjoye, described the PDP claims as falsehoods.
Oladunjoye insisted that the PDP governorship candidate “has been on the run from the law since his invitation by the police.”
Oladunjoye advised Adebutu “to be man enough to face the criminal charges preferred against him by the Federal Government and stop sounding like a broken record.”
The APC spokesperson in a statement titled ‘Face your criminal charges and stop sounding like a broken record’ urged the PDP “to stop wasting their time on a lost battle but rather concentrate their energies and resources on defending themselves of the weighty criminal charges hanging round their necks, and to which many of their conspirators have confessed to.
“The PDP has nothing new to say. We have gone through the porous press statement and we cannot find anything more than the trite excuses, false claims, and contradictions of the defeated candidate who has been on the run from the law since his invitation by the police.
“By now, even the media would be tired of the monotonous noise of these losers. A party, whose candidate has shunned Police invitation, fled the country, and attempted to stop his trial, is unabashedly making false accusations and preemptively blackmailing the police.
“The desperate press conference was held after the court has thrown out the same spurious claims canvassed.
“When the Police invited the suspect, he fled abroad and told the Police he was going for medicals and his return could only be determined by his doctor. Then he told the public that his life was threatened and he has therefore fled to an unknown destination.
“Few weeks after, he approached the court and filed a motion stopping Police from ‘inviting’, ‘interviewing’ or ‘detaining’ him over allegations of votes-buying through the printing and distribution of 200,000 pieces of Verve ATM cards preloaded with N10,000 credit and totaling N2 billion. He also wanted the court to ask the Police to defer the trial till after the conclusion of his petition at the Tribunal in Abeokuta.
“In the process of serial lies and contradictions, Adebutu has even lied under oath, committed perjury and he certainly has a date to keep with the law. For someone who kept boasting that his father’s money can do anything, the recent meaningless press conference is perhaps an indication that money has failed him in buying the law.
“The party advised the Ogun state PDP and its defeated governorship candidate to stop wasting their time on a lost battle but rather concentrate their energies and resources on defending themselves of the weighty criminal charges hanging around their necks, and to which many of their conspirators have confessed to.”