A federal high court in Abuja on Monday convicted former Senior Special Assistant, SSA, on Media to ex-President Goodluck Jonathan, and director-general of the Peter Obi presidential campaign, Doyin Okupe, for breaching the money laundering act.
Okupe was arraigned by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) in 2019 on a 59-count charge bordering on alleged money laundering and diversion of funds to the tune of N702 million.
Justice Ijeoma Ojuwku on Monday found Okupe guilty of receiving over N200 million cash from former National Security Adviser (NSA). Col. Sambo Dasuki.
He was arraigned alongside two companies – Value Trust Investment Ltd and Abrahams Telecoms Ltd. Okupe was said to have received cash from the office of the National Security Adviser (NSA) while Sambo Dasuki was in office.
Delivering judgment on Monday, Ojukwu found Okupe guilty of contravening sections 16(1)&(2) of the Money Laundering Act by accepting cash payments in excess of the threshold of N5 million for individuals and N10 million for organizations allowed under the act without going through a financial institution.
Justice Ujukwu held that “there is no evidence that the money passed through a financial institution”.
The judge said the NSA is not a financial institution and although the former president was said to have authorised the funds, he did not specify a cash payment in violation of the Money Laundering Act.
“I find the first defendant, Dr. Doyin Okupe, guilty on counts 34, 35, 36, and 59,” the court ruled. Incounts 34 through 59, Okupe was accused of receiving various sums ranging from N10 million on different occasions from 2012 to 2015 when he was SSA to president Jonathan.
The judge however found the defendants not guilty in counts 1 to 33 on the grounds that the prosecution failed to establish the charge of money laundering, criminal breach of trust and corruption against the NSA.
The matter was subsequently stood down to allow the convict (Okupe) to call witnesses to testify about his character, as enshrined under Section 310 of the Administration of Criminal Justice Act (ACJA). The sentencing is expected to be delivered after the process must have been concluded.
Ifunanya Ikueze is an Engineer, Safety Professional, Writer, Investor, Entrepreneur and Educator.
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