Reactions as court convicts Doyin Okupe of money laundering

*The Federal High Court Abuja, has convicted Dr. Doyin Okupe, Director-General of Peter Obi’s Presidential Campaign Council, of money laundering for violating the Money Laundering Act in a suit by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, sentencing the ex-presidential aide to two years in prison with an option of fine

Alexander Davis | ConsumerConnect

The Federal High Court Abuja, FCT, has convicted Dr. Doyin Okupe, Director-General of the Labour Party (LP) Presidential Campaign Council (PCC) for receiving monies to the tune of N702 million cash from Col. Sambo Dasuki, ex-National Security Adviser (NSA).

Recalling the hitherto controversial ‘Dasukigate’, Justice Ijeoma Ojukwu, while delivering judgement on the matter Monday, December 19, 2022, ruled that Okupe’s action as the first defendant in the suit filed by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), violated the country’s Money Laundering Act.

While stating that Nigeria’s Money Laundering Act provides that no individual or organisation shall receive any sum above N5 million and N10 million respectively without passing through a financial institution, Justice Ojukwu held “there is no evidence that the money passed through a financial institution.”

The Judge also pointed out that the country’s Office of the NSA is not a financial institution.

Ojukwu noted that even if the President reportedly had authorised the funds, he did not say that the money must be paid in cash in violation of money laundering in Nigeria.

Consequently, the court held that the first defendant, Dr. Okupe was guilty in counts 34, 35, 36, and 59.

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 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 the Senior Special Assistant to former President Goodluck Jonathan.

The judge later sentenced Okupe to two years in prison on count 34 with an option of a fine of N500,000.

The said sum, according to him, was expended on running the office, payment of staff, and image laundering of the former President and his administration.

However, the court held that receiving such amounts in cash violated the Money Laundering Act in the country.

Okupe’s conviction unsettles Peter Obi’s supporters

Meanwhile, report has indicated the conviction of Okupe, Director-General of the Presidential Campaign Council (PCC) of Labour Party for breaching the Money Laundering Act has unsettled the support base of Mr. Peter Obi,  party’s presidential candidate in the 2023 Presidential Election.

It was observed that Okupe’s conviction was greeted with mixed feelings by large swaths of Obi’s supporters across social media, reports The Nation.

Before his conviction, Okupe reportedly had tweeted: “Lies, fabrications & disinformation are their tools.

“But in the end, they will fail & be shamed.

“Doyin Okupe has not chopped any shish neither has he shifted base by 1mm!!!

Okupe wrote: “We are moving forward till God delivers us all from the Perpetual Raiders of this lost but glorious Ark.”

In past weeks, Okupe had come under intense pressure over the alleged mishandling of campaign funds.

Also, the party’s chapter in Ogun State sacked Okupe and others for allegedly not paying membership fees, high-handedness and financial recklessness, report noted.

This latest development has set many tongues wagging, especially on social media platforms.

Reacting, @toornie said: “They are trying to weaken Peter Obi by prosecuting Doyin Okupe… Lmao. You cannot stop something whose time has come.”

@Dr_chazduke argued: “The corrupt establishment couldn’t get to Obi & Datti, they are now going after Doyin Okupe from all angles. Obidients ain’t distracted.”

@DuruChibuzorE said: “…Doyin Okupe is guilty, PO should have seen this from the onset.

“The party will find a way to manage this. Doyin should be prosecuted for his crimes against the nation.”

@OlufemiOlojo said: “Doyin Okupe’s conviction is a confirmation that politics in Nigeria isn’t about service but self-service, irrespective of the political parties.

“He belongs to PO’s, the “holy, holy” candidate.”

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