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How PDP Ogun Gov Candidate, Ladi Adebutu Fled Nigeria To Evade Arrest Over Vote Buying, Money Laudering

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Contrary to his claim that he left the country because of alleged threats to his life, the candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the March 18 governorship election in Ogun State, Hon Ladi Adebutu, actually travelled abroad to evade the long arm of the law over alleged criminal activities, sources have revealed.

Checks revealed that Adebutu left the country following security agencies’ uncovering of a vote buying plot linked to him during the March 18, 2023 governorship and House of Assembly polls in Ogun State and the invitation extended to him to clarify issues.

According to the sources, Adebutu was alleged to have perpetrated bribery, conspiracy and peddling undue influence contrary to sections 121 and 127 of the Electoral Act 2022; breach of electoral law prohibiting vote trading, deliberate facilitation of money laundering, and connivance to deliberately breach the monetary policy of the Federation.

Sources revealed that in a letter made available to security agencies investigating his criminal activities, Adebutu had indicated that he travelled abroad to seek medical care, and had given no indication of threat to life.

Sources within the security services indicated that preliminary investigations showed that in the build-up to the election, Adebutu had contacted his bank and caused over 200,000 prepaid Verve bank cards preloaded with N10,000 each to be printed.

A credible security source confirmed, with clear-cut evidence that these Verve Bank Cards were delivered directly in two batches on the 16th and 17th of March 2023, respectively, by an accounts officer from a new generation bank.

This, it was maintained, is a violation of Section 121of the Electoral Act (2022), which prescribes 12 months’ imprisonment for any “person who directly or indirectly, by his or herself or by any other person on his other behalf corruptly makes any gift, loan, offer, promise, procurement or agreement to or for any person, in order to induce such person to procure or to endeavour to procure the return of any person as a member of a legislative house or to an elective office or the vote of any voter at any election.”

The Verve cards, which were supposedly printed to honour the lawmaker’s late mother, were however uncovered as vote buying instruments going by the confessions of party agents and POS operators arrested by security agencies during the polls, which indicted the PDP guber candidate.

Adebutu was said to have applied for the Verve cards from the Bank on February 27, 3023 two days after the presidential election which the PDP lost by a wide margin in Ogun State, following which the cards were delivered to him by his relationship officer in the bank.

Investigation further revealed that contrary to Adebutu’s claim that the cards were issued during his mother’s burial, they were actually issued few days to the election, raising the obvious question of collusion by the bank with a politically exposed person to perpetrate electoral fraud.

Also, the statements by some of Adebutu’s polling agents that were arrested confirmed that he gave them the cards to manipulate the March 18 polls.

The sources described Adebutu’s actions , using game-betting platforms and POS operators, as well planned, carefully orchestrated and unprecedented electoral fraud made out of desperation after losing the February 25, 2023 Presidential and National Assembly elections.

 

Adebutu and his agents were said to have distributed the cards throughout the over 5000 polling units and positioned POS operators at the same so each voter could convert the card to cash at the POS terminals.

The cards were said to have been funded on the 16th and 17th of March directly from Adebutu’s account with the Bank, with the lawmaker paying over N2.4bn directly from his account.

Said a source: “Checks at the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC) showed that the foundation in whose name the PDP candidate carried out his criminal activities were fictitious.

 

“We have it on good authority that following a petition written to security agencies over the incident, it was observed that Adebutu expended huge sums to manipulate the March 18 2023. governorship election in Ogun State.

“Hon Adebutu caused prepaid Verve cards preloaded with N10,000 each and bearing such inscriptions as Dame Caroline Oladunni Adebutu Empowerment Scheme, Dame Caroline Scheme and “Dame Caroline Oladunni Adebutu Memorial Endowment Scheme, to be printed under the guise of honouring his late mother, but it was a vote buying gimmick, and these cards were used to buy votes on March 18.

 

“Luck, however, ran out on him when party agents and POS operators who were used to perpetrate the deliberate manipulation of the electoral process were arrested by the security agencies and made statements that indicted him.

 

“The financial institutions that collaborated with him have revealed that he contacted them to create the cards which were delivered to him two days to the governorship election.

“It was when he observed that all these things had come into the open that he suddenly disappeared into thin air in order to evade justice.”

The security sources, which accused the PDP lawmaker of violating Sections 121 and 127 of the Electoral Act (2022) which expressly forbid vote buying, said that it was regrettable that Adebutu had flagrantly violated laws meant to sanitize Nigeria’s electoral process.

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Metro

Governor Sanwo-Olu invites DSS to join investigation into Mohbad’s death

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Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, has extended an invitation to the Department of Security Services (DSS) to collaborate in the ongoing investigation into the tragic death of the late singer, Ilerioluwa Aloba, popularly known as Mohbad.

This announcement was conveyed through an official statement signed by Lagos State Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Gbenga Omotoso, on Tuesday.

Mohbad, a former signee of Naira Marley’s Marlian Records, passed away last Tuesday at the age of 27, leaving his family, friends, and fans in mourning.

In the statement, the Lagos State government expressed its heartfelt condolences to Mohbad’s family and fans, acknowledging the profound loss of a young and promising talent in the fiercely competitive music industry.

The statement read,

  • “We feel the pains of losing such a talented and promising young man, who made a name for himself in a highly competitive industry. May the Almighty grant his soul rest and comfort his bereaved family and fans.”

In a concerted effort to ensure a thorough and comprehensive investigation into the circumstances surrounding Mohbad’s untimely death, Governor Sanwo-Olu has taken the initiative to involve the Department of Security Services (DSS).

The aim is to widen the scope of the inquiry through inter-agency collaboration and the utilization of state-of-the-art technology to uncover the truth.

Governor Sanwo-Olu has issued a directive that all individuals who may have played any role in events leading up to Mohbad’s tragic death be held accountable and face legal consequences after a meticulous investigation.

The inclusion of the DSS in the investigation underscores the determination of the Lagos State government to achieve transparency and justice in the inquiry, with a commitment to bringing those responsible to account.

The state government also implores anyone who possesses vital information that could assist the investigative process to come forward and share their insights with the investigative team.

Furthermore, the government emphasizes the need for the investigating team to guarantee the confidentiality and protection of all witnesses who may provide essential information or indicative evidence to aid the process.

Meanwhile, in response to Mohbad’s passing, his management announced a candlelight procession and tribute night to honour the late artist.

The move comes as fans and sympathizers continue to call for a thorough investigation into the cause of his death.

The management expressed gratitude for the outpouring of love from fans worldwide and those who have organized events in their communities to pay respects to Mohbad. They invited everyone to join them in the candlelight procession and tribute concert to remember and celebrate the artist’s life.

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Business

Dangote Refinery to start production by October and November 2023

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The Dangote Refinery is gearing up to commence refining operations, with plans to produce diesel and jet fuel by October 2023 and petrol by November 30, 2023, according to the Executive Director of the Dangote Group, Devakumar Edwin.

According to reports, Edwin in an interview with newsmen disclosed that the refinery is on track to receive its first crude cargo within two weeks.

Initially, the facility is set to produce up to 370,000 barrels per day of diesel and jet fuel in October 2023.

Furthermore, Edwin outlined the refinery’s strategy for gradually increasing petrol production, to reach an impressive 650,000 barrels per day by November 30.

He expressed the refinery’s readiness to receive crude oil:

  • “Right now, I’m ready to receive crude. We are just waiting for the first vessel. And so, as soon as it comes in, we can start.”

Regarding the shift in the original timeline, Edwin explained that the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation Limited (NNPCL) had already committed their crude oil to another entity on a forward basis, causing a temporary delay.

He assured that this setback is momentary, and the refinery will exclusively use Nigerian crude oil from November 2023 onwards.

Edwin highlighted that the Nigerian oil will be purchased in US dollars, not in naira, as the refinery operates within a free trade zone on the outskirts of Lagos. However, due to its equity stake, the NNPCL will supply some crude at discounted prices.

The Dangote refinery is equipped to process various crudes, including most African grades, Middle Eastern Arab Light, and even US light-tight oil.

Edwin stated,

  • “We can take even some of the Russian grades… if the global system opens up to allow us to receive them. If you look at our production profile, 50% of my production will meet 100% of the requirements of the country.”

Excess gasoline, meeting 10 ppm sulfur Euro 5 quality, will be exported to other African markets, the US, and South America, albeit in relatively small volumes.

Jet fuel will be exported to Europe, while diesel will be sold in sub-Saharan Africa.

Edwin emphasized that the refinery would benefit Nigeria significantly, providing a reliable supply of environmentally friendly refined products and generating substantial foreign exchange for the country.

Furthermore, he noted that the Dangote refinery will play a pivotal role in addressing fuel supply challenges faced by import-dependent West Africa, particularly following Nigeria’s removal of fuel subsidies, which had resulted in a thriving illicit gasoline market due to price fluctuations.

Edwin added that the revenues generated from the refinery’s operations will be reinvested in further developments, underscoring Aliko Dangote’s commitment to Nigeria.

  • “The money will be coming back in, and it will go for further investments,” he affirmed, highlighting Dangote’s dedication to the nation.
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News

Senate President, Godswill Akpabio faces strong opposition amid allegations of loyalty to Tinubu

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A brewing political storm is on the horizon as top politicians within the Senate, gear up to challenge Senate President Godswill Akpabio’s leadership when the Senate resumes later this month.

The unhappy forces are reportedly angry by what they perceive as Akpabio’s submissiveness to President Tinubu, rather than prioritizing the interests of lawmakers and the Nigerian public.

Accusations have been levelled at Akpabio, a former Akwa Ibom State Governor, suggesting that his close relationship with the President has diverted his attention from his colleagues and hindered his ability to address the pressing concerns of Nigerians amid the nation’s challenges.

Reliable sources have confirmed that a group of dissatisfied Senators, led by two former North West governors, intends to capitalize on Akpabio’s recent misstep, where he claimed that “prayers” had been sent to their mailboxes for celebrations, to take punitive action against him.

A well-placed source within the National Assembly, knowledgeable about the brewing plot, revealed that the anti-Akpabio faction has convened multiple meetings, including gatherings in Saudi Arabia and Ilorin, to finalize strategies for Akpabio’s potential impeachment upon the Senate’s return.

The source within the National Assembly disclosed,

  • “Among Senator Akpabio’s ‘sins’ is his perceived ‘highly-subordinated relationship with President Bola Tinubu. Additionally, the ‘token’ slip by the Senate President on the day of adjournment for the ongoing recess forms the basis for the move to serve him the famous ‘banana peel’ treatment.”

Despite Akpabio’s subsequent clarification and retraction of his “prayer” comment, it failed to mollify many of his colleagues who had publicly expressed their disapproval.

The source further noted,

  • “All of these actions are part of preparations for the 2027 general elections, where a new ‘hybrid party’ is expected to emerge, drawing membership from both the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) and opposition parties, particularly the People’s Democratic Party (PDP).
  • The goal is to replicate the ‘tsunami’ that rocked the then-ruling PDP in 2014 when many party heavyweights defected to form what is now known as the SPC.”

As the Senate gears up for its resumption, political intrigue and manoeuvring promise to be at the forefront of Nigeria’s political landscape.

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