The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has said that the Department of State Services (DSS) acted on a 2016 watch list request to arrest former presidential aide, Doyin Okupe at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport in Lagos on Thursday morning.
The anti-graft agency also said it was in the process of formally lifting the watch list on Okupe before his interception by the secret police on Thursday morning.
The Commission, however, said it will expedite action and remove the Labour Party (LP) chieftain from its watch list.
“The Department of State Services, DSS, today, January 12, informed the Commission of the interception of Dr. Doyin Okupe, former presidential adviser, at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport in Lagos,” EFCC spokesman, Wilson Uwujaren, said in a statement on Thursday.
“The Service acted on a Watch-list request issued on July 18, 2016, over six years before his recent conviction on money laundering charges by the Federal High Court, Abuja.
“The Commission was in the process of formally lifting the watch-list before his interception and will expedite action in this regard.”
The DSS had announced Okupe’s arrest on Thursday morning at the Lagos airport just as he tried to catch London flight via Virgin Atlantic. The secret police also said the LP chieftain’s arrest was at the instance of EFCC.
However, hours later, Okupe, in a tweet, said he had been released, adding that security agents “apologised” to him for “the error”.
I was arrested & detained @ the MMIA, Lagos this morning, 12th Jan on my way to UK for medicals; years after my passport had been withheld by the FHC Abuja.
I just left the EFCC office where Snr Officers in Lagos & Abuja appologised to me for the error.
OCCUPATIONAL HAZZARD abi?
— Doyin (@doyinokupe) January 12, 2023
Okupe was the director-general of the campaign of the presidential candidate of Labour Party, Peter Obi but resigned last December after a court in Abuja found him guilty of money laundering charges. He had paid off his fine and even attended the party’s rallies this year before his airport incident on Thursday.