The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, Ilorin Zonal Command on Monday, October 24, 2022, arraigned four persons before Justice Mathias Agboola of the State High Court, Oshogbo for alleged bribery of voters during the Osun State governorship election held on July 16, 2022.
The defendants are Adeyemo Bahiru Abiodun, Abidogun Ismail, Jimoh Kazeem and Yekini Nurudeen Abiodun
They were arrested by operatives of the EFCC at different polling units following credible intelligence that they were inducing voters with money to vote for their preferred candidate.
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 against Adeyemo, Abidogun and Jimoh was consolidated, Yekini was arraigned on a separate charge.
The charge against the trio of Adeyemo, Abidogun and Jimoh reads: “Adeyemo Bashiru Abiodun, Abidogun Ismail and Jimoh Kazeem on the 16th of July 2022 in Oshogbo within the jurisdiction of this Honourable Court conspired to corruptly make monetary gifts to voters at Unit 2, ward 2, Isale Odun, Oshogbo, 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”
The charge against Abiodun read: “You Nurudeen Abiodun on 16th July, 2022 at Oshogbo within the Judicial Division of this Honourable Court corruptly made a monetary gift to voters at Polling 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.”
The defendants pleaded not guilty to the charges.
Upon their pleas, the prosecuting counsel, Sesan Ola and Andrew Akoja asked the court to fix a date for a hearing and remand the defendants in the Correctional Centre pending trial.
But the defence counsel, N. T Adekilekun and M. O Sambo prayed the Court to admit the defendants to bail. They argued that the defendants had been granted bail by a Kwara State High Court, Ilorin and had not breached the terms.
Opposing the bail application, the prosecution counsel contended that electoral offences are grievous and urged the court to consider the weight of the evidence before it in exercising its discretion.
Justice Agboola granted the defendants bail in the sum of N2 million with one surety each in like sum. The surety, who must not be below Grade Level 13 in the State Civil Service, must deposit their Identity card with a recent passport photograph to the Registrar of the Court.
The cases were adjourned till November 21 and 28, 2022 for the commencement of trial.