Arms Deal: Court Convicts Okupe Of Money Laundering
By John Chuks Azu
A Federal High Court in Abuja has convicted a former Special Adviser to the President on Public Affairs, Dr Doyin Okupe over the diversion of arms funds from the office of the National Security Adviser.
Justice Ijeoma Ojukwu on Monday held that the prosecution made out a case of money laundering against Okupe and awarded the total sum of N13 million in fines against him.
Okupe is currently the Director General of the Labour Party Presidential Campaign Council.
In 2019, he was charged by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) on a 59-count charge bordering on money laundering and diversion of funds to the tune of N240 million from the then NSA, Col. Sambo Dasuki.
Those arraigned with him are two companies: Value Trust Investment Ltd and Abrahams Telecoms Ltd.
Justice Ojukwu convicted Okupe in 26 out of the 59-count charges preferred against him by the EFCC.
The judge further slammed a sentence of two years for each of the 26 counts to run concurrently or an option of N500,000 fine for each.
The judge further ordered that where the fine is not paid by 4.30pm on Monday, Okupe would be sent to jail.
The judge said the decision was arrived at after listening to the plea for leniency by eminent Nigerians including former governor of Anambra State, Chukwuemeka Ezeife and for DG of the National Orientation Agency (NOA), Alhaji Idi Farouk, wife of Okupe, Omolara and his son.
She noted that although Okupe argued that he was not aware that receiving payments of N10m to the tune of N240m beyond the threshold of the financial institution was an offence, ignorance of the law is no excuse.
She further observed that he was a first offender, had no previous criminal record, adding “he never wasted the time and resources of the court.”
Credit: Daily Trust