N240m laundering: Doyin Okupe released after paying N13 million fine
Justice Ijeoma Ojukwu of the Abuja Division of the Federal High Court, yesterday, found Doyin Okupe (a former Senior Special Adviser to President Goodluck Jonathan), guilty of receiving over N200 million cash from a former National Security Adviser (NSA), Col. Sambo Dasuki.
Consequently, the court sentenced Okupe to two years imprisonment, to run concurrently, or payment of a cash fine of 500,000 on each of the 26 count charges (N13, million) of money laundering preferred against him by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).
Ojukwu held that the action of Okupe, who is the first defendant, violated the Money Laundering Act.
Okupe, who is the campaign director general of Labour Party’s presidential candidate, Peter Obi, was, however, released later in the day, following the payment of the N13 million fine.
The Act provides that no individual or organisation shall receive any sum above N5 million and N10 million without passing through a financial institution, Ojukwu stated, adding: “There is no evidence that the money passed through a financial institution.”
She noted that the NSA is not a financial institution, and that even if the President had authorised the funds, he did not say the money must be paid in cash, in violation of the money laundering.
“I find the first defendant, Dr. Doyin Okupe, guilty in counts 34, 35, 36…59,” the court declared.
The judge, however, found the defendants not guilty in counts one to 33, on the grounds that the prosecution failed to establish the charge of money laundering and criminal breach of trust and corruption against the NSA.
In counts 34 to 59, upon which Okupe was convicted, he was accused of receiving various sums ranging from N10 million on different occasions, from 2012 to 2015, when he was SSA to Jonathan.
The money, according to him, was expended in running the office, payment of staff and image laundering of the former President and his administration.