Vote buying: Court fixes January 22, 2020 for judgment

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By Steve Oni, Ilorin

Justice Sikiru Oyinloye of the Kwara State High Court sitting in Ilorin has fixed January 22, 2020 for judgment in a criminal case filed against a suspected vote buyer, Abdulsalam Abdulkadir, by the EFCC, Ilorin Zonal Office.

Abdulkadir was arrested on the 9th of March 2019 for allegedly sharing money to voters in order to compromise the outcome of Governorship and State House of Assembly Elections in his polling unit.

Count one of the charge stated: “That you, Abdulsalam Abdulkadir and Oye Obalola (still at large) on or about the 9th day of March, 2019 in Ilorin within the jurisdiction of the Kwara State High Court, during the 2019 gubernatorial election, conspired among yourselves to provide N120,000.00 for the purpose of using same at the polling unit 007, college of education, Ilorin to corruptly influence persons to vote and thereby committed an offence contrary to section 124 (5) and 130 of the electoral act, 2010 (As amended) and punishable under section 130 (b) of the same act.”

He pleaded not guilty during his arraignment on the 19th of March 2019.

At the resumed hearing of the matter on Tuesday, Counsel to the defendant, A.S Abdulahi urged the Court to discharge and acquit the accused person, arguing that the prosecution has failed to link the crime to his client.

“My Lord, we have filed our final written address dated 30th of October 2019 and filed on the same day, we submit that the alleged offence is on Electoral Act, and EFCC does not have power to prosecute electoral offenders”, he said.

Prosecuting Counsel, Nnaemeka Omeiwa however told Justice Oyinloye that “My Lord, I want you to convict the defendant and hold that the prosecution has proved its case beyond reasonable doubt.”

After the arguments of both parties, Justice Oyinloye fixed 22nd of January to deliver Judgment on the matter.

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