By Afolabi Orekoya
The unsubstantiated claims that a certain “PDP Chieftain in trouble as police uncover shocking N2billion vote-buying scheme” by some online news platforms led by Premium Times is nothing but further evidence that Ogun APC and Dapo Abiodun have decided to go for cheap blackmail after realizing that our candidate and PDP’s Petition before the Tribunal is unequivocally tight.
This has not come as a surprise to the Ladi Adebutu Campaign Organization because after failing in their efforts to coax, intimidate and harass the PDP Candidate, (Dr) Oladipupo Adebutu and his family to withdraw the Petition despite pleas from their emissaries, delegations and offer of monetary compensation ; the APC and its candidate, at the March 18th governorship election, Mr Dapo Abiodun, have resorted to blackmail, media trial, depravity and malfeasance in an attempt to buy public sentiment and confuse the Judiciary.
Members of the public will recall that immediately after the election, Mr. Tunde Oladunjoye, the Ogun APC Publicity Secretary, in an attempt to force Hon. Oladipupo Adebutu to drop the Petition against his party (APC), had claimed on a Channels TV show that one of the many humanitarian gestures of the Adebutu family was for other purposes and intent.
For clarity sake, the fact of the burial of the Adebutu matriarch, Late Dame Caroline Adebutu, on February 11th, 2023 is in the public domain and it will be unreasonable and unconscionable for anyone under the guise of paid reporting to attempt to twist the details.
It is not surprising that the sponsored fake report was not reported in any reputable news medium as this indicates that the tone of Premium Times presumed bias, unprofessionalism and possibly an act which likened to an arm of Ogun APC recruited for shoddy jobs.
It should be noted by members of the public that this purported “interim report” of an investigation, which the APC also alluded to, which has not been concluded, is being preempted by them. It is, therefore, glaring that the effort of Mr Abiodun and his party to act as whistle blower for the police is a deliberate and mischievous attempt to blackmail our principal.
We hereby call on the police authorities to open an investigation into how “explicit” details of the interim report of an uncompleted investigation was leaked to the press, even though the petition leading to this investigation is laced with political undertone.
The PDP and Hon. Oladipupo Adebutu hereby assure the good people of Ogun that every attempt by the APC and it’s candidate to continue to rubbish the commitments shown by the good people of Ogun State evident through the over 260,000 votes cast for PDP and its Gubernatorial Candidate in the March 18th elections will be resisted because those votes are clear indicators that Ogun people are determined to change the trajectory of our dear State for good under a prospective Ladi Adebutu led administration.
The Ogun APC and their social media warlords should note that the Election Petition Tribunal, as constituted, is clear on its mandate, which is to hear all petitions emanating from the 2023 February and March elections. Therefore, any ploy to influence the outcome of the tribunal by circulating incoherent, illogical, and
baseless claims like this one will definitely continue to expose APC known ridicule.
The PDP and its candidate are open to cooperating with the relevant authorities within the ambit of the law. The issues before the Election Petition Tribunal are substantiated documentary evidence of over-voting, suppression of voters, noncompliance with the Electoral Act, and the Constitution. And no distractive tendencies to buy public sympathy will destroy the truth of solid facts. Ogun people are very intelligent people, they cannot be cajoled further.
Our focus is crystal clear, to present incontrovertible evidence and prove our claims before the Election Petition Tribunal. We hereby advise the Ogun APC and Mr Dapo Abiodun that, rather than employing this cheap tactic of intimidation, blackmail and misinforming the public, they should reserve their energy to prove their innocence against the allegations in the petitions at the tribunal.
While we are confident of the Judiciary’s commitment to upholding the tenets of rule of law and ensuring fair hearing on the issues raised at the tribunal, we are urging members of the Ogun State Governorship Election Petition Tribunal not to be swayed by the antics of Mr Abiodun to influence the process of the hearing through preempting of the Judiciary through media propaganda.
While we continue to appreciate the role and support of the media in upholding truth and fairnes for sustainable democracy, we urge the media to always verify every information available to them and employ professionalism in the discharge of their duties.
* Afolabi Orekoya is Media Director for the Ladi Adebutu Campaign Organisation