The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, Ilorin Zonal Command has arraigned four persons for alleged bribery of voters in attempt to ensure the return of the incumbent governor of Osun State, Adegboyega Oyetola for a second term during the 16th July 2022 governorship election in the state
This was revealed in a press release made available to Journalists in Ilorin the state capital by the spokesman of the anti-graft agency, Wilson Uwujaren which stated that the suspects ,Adeyemo Bahiru Abiodun, Abidogun Ismail, Jimoh Kazeem and Yekini Nurudeen Abiodun, were arraigned before Justice Mathias Agboola of the State High Court, Oshogbo, Osun State on Monday.
The statement also added that 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 Oyetola for a second term in office.
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.
The move by the anti-graft agency is to check the practice of vote buying and other financial inducements that could undermine the integrity of elections. It is important to state that those who offer bribe for votes are as guilty as those who receive such gratifications during elections.
While the charge of Adeyemo, Abidogun and Jimoh were consolidated, Yekini was prosecuted on a separate charge before the same court.
However, the defendants pleaded not guilty to the charge, upon their pleas, Sesan Ola and Andrew Akoja who prosecuted the cases for the Commission asked the court to fix a date for hearing and remand the defendants in the Correctional Center pending trial.
In response, the defence represented by N. T Adekilekun and M. O Sambo through respective oral applications prayed the Court to admit the defendants to 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. The defence counsel assured that the defendants 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 should consider the weight of the evidence before it and the prevalence of the offence.
In his ruling, Justice 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 cards with recent passports photograph to the Registrar of the court.
The two cases were adjourned till November 21 and 28, 2022 for commencement of trial.