Alleged Money Laundering: EFCC Witness Testifies Against Doyin Okupe

 

The trial of Dr. Doyin Okupe, a former aide to ex-president Goodluck Jonathan, who was arraigned on 59 counts of money laundering continued on Friday at a Federal High Court In Abuja.

At the resumed trial, the prosecution witness, Mr. Hassan Seidu, an operative of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) told the court how Dr Okupe received payments from the office of the National Security Adviser, retired Col. Dasuki Sambo, for special services.

The witness also told the court how a company, Value Trust Investment Limited, was used to siphon money from the office of the NSA without executing any job for the Federal Government.

Mr. Seidu, who is the third prosecution witness in the trial of Dr. Okupe informed the court that Dr Okupe failed to justify the payments made to him and Value Trust Investment Limited.

Read Also: Supreme Court Affirms Interim Forfeiture Of N2.4bn Linked To Patience Jonathan

He recounted how the accused was unable to account for the funds received even when he claimed to have paid staff salaries from the money.

The counsel to Dr. Okupe, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria, Joe-kyari Gadzama, however, insisted that the testimony of the witness was merely a fairy tale, just as the counsel to Value Trust Investment Limited, Tolu Babaleye, dismissed the testimony.

Meanwhile, the prosecutor, Ibrahim Audu, claimed that he had enough documentary evidence to prove the case against the former presidential aide beyond reasonable doubt.

With the conclusion of the testimony of the third witness, the court adjourned further trial to April 1, 2019, for cross-examination of the witness.

Veteran Broadcaster, Atere Testifies Against Okupe

EFCC Opens Case In N702m Suit Against Okupe
A file photo of PDP chieftain, Doyin Okupe.okupe

 

Veteran broadcaster, Olusola Atere has testified against former Senior Special Assistant to former President Goodluck Jonathan, Doyin Okupe.

At the resumed hearing of the case on Wednesday, Atere, testified as Prosecution Witness 2, (PW2), before Justice Ijeoma Ojukwu of the Federal High Court, Abuja.

He told the court that “Okupe was a former Senior Special Assistant on Public Affairs to former President Goodluck Jonathan, whom he said came to the NTA and met with the management of the News Directorate which he happened to be a member of then, to request for the production of a one-hour programme to promote the policies and programmes of the then Federal Government’s administration.

Speaking further, he explained that, “We held a meeting and started planning for the programme. Subsequently, members of Okupe’s team came for another meeting with NTA.”

Atere told the court that after the meeting, he was directed to raise a memo to send a budget proposal to the office of the Senior Special Assistant on Public Affairs on October 9, 2013 for which he said no response came from Okupe.

He further disclosed that the NTA appointed a producer for the proposed programme who was liaising with the team from Okupe’s office.

According to him, by October 23, 2013, he was directed by his boss, the Executive Director News to raise a memo to the Acting Director General NTA, informing him of the Okupe request and that by October 24, 2013, the Director General minuted to him that the programme should be taken as part of corporate social responsibility and be broadcast at no cost.

Speaking further, Atere informed the court that he didn’t have much to do with the programme from that point as the producer was liaising with Okupe’s team.

He also revealed that Dr Okupe provided the three guests that discussed weekly on the programme as well as made arrangements to provide the presenters of the programme.
“So I can’t say what kind of arrangement was made in bringing guests, who were experts and ministers,” Atere said.

He retired as Executive Director News, NTA in 2016.

Okupe is being arraigned by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) on 59 counts bordering on money laundering and criminal diversion of funds to the tune of N702,000,000.

Claim That I Received N750m Is Untrue, Says Okupe

Again, EFCC Arrests Doyin Okupe
Doyin Okupe,a former Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity to former President Goodluck Jonathan

 

A former aide of Ex-President Goodluck Jonathan, Doyin Okupe, has said that claims making the rounds that he collected N750m from the office of the National Security Officer (NSA) for no service rendered, is false. 

Okupe made the assertion on Friday via his Twitter page.

He said, “Efcc has started its media trial. D press release 2dy that I rcvd N750m 4 nothing,is untrue& never stated in court ystdy.”

Dasukigate: Court Adjourns Okupe’s Trial to Mar 6

Justice Ijeoma Ojuwku of the Federal High Court, Abuja adjourned the trial of a the former Senior Special Assistant on Public Affairs to former president, Goodluck Jonathan, to March 6, 2019.

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, had on January 14, 2019 arraigned Okupe on a 59-count charge bordering on “money laundering and criminal diversion of funds” to the tune of N702 million.

At the resumed sitting, on February 28, 2019 Osas Azonabor, an operative of the EFCC, testifying as the first prosecution witness, was cross-examined by defence counsel, Joe Kyari Gadzama, SAN.

READ ALSO: EFCC Opens Case In N702m Suit Against Okupe

Azonabor had on February 27, 2019 while being led in evidence by counsel for the EFCC, Ibrahim Audu, narrated how sometime in 2016, the EFCC got intelligence that some individuals were paid by the Office of the National Security Adviser (ONSA), for “doing nothing”.

He further told the court that investigations revealed that Okupe was one of the beneficiaries.

He also added that after analysing payment vouchers, it was realised that cash payment of N50 million was made into Okupe’s account on April 8, 2014. Analysis of several other vouchers also revealed several of such payments.

Under cross-examination by Gadzama, the prosecution witness told the Court that during investigations, Okupe gave investigators, “so many documents” that were analysed.

Specifically, when the defence counsel put it to him that payments as shown on the voucher were for “special services”, Azonabor replied that the findings proved otherwise.

“When we asked Okupe further about the payments, he said he did not render any special service,” he said.

EFCC Opens Case In N702m Suit Against Okupe

EFCC Opens Case In N702m Suit Against Okupe
A file photo of PDP chieftain, Doyin Okupe.

 

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission has opened its case against a former Senior Special Assistant to former President Goodluck Jonathan, Dr Doyin Okupe, who is being prosecuted before Justice Ijeoma Ojukwu of the Federal High Court, Abuja.

Okupe is facing a 59-count bordering on money laundering, criminal diversion of funds to the tune of N702m.

He is alleged to have collected the money from the Office of the National Security Adviser, for doing nothing.

At the trial on Wednesday, the first prosecution witness, one Osas Azonabor, an operative of the Commission, who was led in evidence by the Counsel to the EFCC, Ibrahim Audu, told the court that sometime in 2016, the EFCC got an intelligence that some individuals were paid by the Office of the NSA for doing nothing.

READ ALSO: EFCC Seeks Diezani’s Extradition, As Court Adjourns Arraignment Till May

He said that when investigations began, it was realised that one of the beneficiaries was Okupe, who is the first defendant, adding that the EFCC wrote to the office of the NSA demanding the vouchers of the payments made to the defendant.

According to him, after analysing the payment vouchers, it was realised that cash payment of N50m was made into Okupe’s account, as stated in the voucher of April 8, 2014.

He also stated that another cash payment of N6m was found to have been made to Okupe on April 2, 2014.

In addition, he explained, there were series of payments in multiples of N10 million made to Okupe between 2012 to 2014.

The witness further told the court that EFCC’s investigation found the sum of N50m paid into the bank account of Value Trust Investment Limited, of which Okupe is a director, adding that another N35m was paid into the account of Abraham Telecoms Nig. Limited, to which Okupe is a signatory.

“He told us he was the Senior Special Assistant to former President Goodluck Jonathan from 2012 and was placed on a monthly salary of N835,000, paid to him by the SGF,” Azonabor said.

He explained further that the defendant said he was paid N10m monthly for 24 months by the office of the NSA and that the money was reduced to N5m monthly from January to May 2015.

He said that Okupe had explained that the money was for special services and when asked to elaborate what he meant by ‘special services’, Okupe said part of the money was used to sponsor ‘Insight’, a programme on a national television”.

EFCC Has Not Accused Me Of Fraud, Says Okupe

 

A chieftain of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Doyin Okupe, says he has not been accused of fraud by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).

He stated this during his appearance on Sunrise DailyChannels Television’s breakfast show on Monday in Abuja, the nation’s capital.

Okupe, who is a former aide to former President Goodluck Jonathan, wondered why he should be prosecuted for paying his salaries.

“For taking money to pay salaries and run my office, I have 59 charges,” he decried.

The PDP chieftain added, “But what I want to make clear here is that in the charge sheet of the EFCC … there is nowhere they have accused me of fraud.

“There is no fraud, there is nothing; what they said is that I received money from the (former) National security Adviser (NSA) to pay salaries when I should have known that the NSA got the money he was giving me through fraudulent means.”


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Again, EFCC Arrests Doyin Okupe
EFCC Arraigns Doyin Okupe Over Alleged N702m Fraud
Court Grants Okupe N100m Bail, Fixes New Date For Trial


Okupe said his arraignment by the anti-graft agency was politically motivated, describing it as an attempt to silence him.

He explained that the case began about two and a half years ago, and was investigated for almost nine months.

The PDP chieftain said the commission told him that they had nothing against him but that if there was any other issue, they would call him.

He, however, insisted that his recent arrest and arraignment had political motives in the face of the electioneering period.

“People decided that one of the best things is to keep this man quiet, let us go and dig up that case,” Okupe said.

He alleged, “What is my case? The case is that the NSA was the one that was funding my office on a monthly basis; that cannot be an offence. I have 59 charges.”

Court Grants Okupe N100m Bail, Fixes New Date For Trial

Court Grants Okupe N100m Bail, Fixes New Date For Trial

 

A Federal High Court in Abuja has granted bail to Dr Doyin Okupe, a former aide to former President Goodluck Jonathan.

Justice Ijeoma Ojukwu granted the bail on Monday when Okupe was arraigned before the court by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) over allegations of fraud.

A statement from the EFCC revealed that Okupe was charged with 59 counts bordering on “money laundering and criminal diversion of funds” to the tune of N702 million.

He had, however, pleaded “not guilty” to the charges.

READ ALSOEFCC Arraigns Doyin Okupe Over Alleged N702m Fraud

Following his plea, the prosecuting counsel, Ibrahim Audu, asked the court for a date for the commencement of the trial.

On his part, counsel to the former presidential aide, Tolu Babaleiye, urged the court to admit his client to bail through a motion on notice dated December 17, 2018.

He said, “The defendant will in no way tamper with evidence since the proof of evidence is before the court that means investigation has been concluded.”

Babaleiye further urged the court to admit the defendant to bail on self-recognisance, adding that “he will not jump bail as he is well known”.

In his response to the application, Audu said, “The defendant was given administrative bail after he volunteered his statement, thereafter, he was nowhere to be found until December 2018 in Lagos”.

He added, “There was nothing substantial in the defendant’s affidavit. The court should exercise its discretion judicially and judiciously based on materials supplied before the court.”

After listening to all the arguments, Justice Ojukwu granted bail to the defendant in the sum of N100 million with one surety in like sum.

She said the surety must be resident within the jurisdiction of the court and must depose to an affidavit of means.

The trial judge also held that the surety must have landed properties which must also be within the jurisdiction of the court.

She asked the surety to submit to the court tax clearance papers from 2016 to 2018 and must have recent passport photographs.

“The surety and defendant must deposit their international passport to the court. The documents are to be deposited with the Deputy Chief Registrar Litigation of the court,” she held.

Justice Ojukwu, thereafter, adjourned till February 27, 28 and March 6 for trial.

See pictures of Okupe’s arraignment below;

EFCC Arraigns Doyin Okupe Over Alleged N702m Fraud

BREAKING:  EFCC Arraigns Doyin Okupe Over Alleged N702m Fraud

 

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has arraigned Dr Doyin Okupe at the Federal High Court, Maitama.

Okupe, a former aide to former President Goodluck Jonathan, was arraigned before Justice Ijeoma Ojukwu on Monday in Abuja.

He was arraigned along with two companies, Value Trust Investment Ltd and Abrahams Telecoms Ltd, over allegations of fraud.

READ ALSOCourt Grants Okupe N100m Bail, Fixes New Date For Trial

According to a statement from the anti-graft agency, Okupe was charged with 59 counts bordering on “money laundering and criminal diversion of funds” to the tune of N702 million.

One of the counts read: “That you, Dr Doyin Okupe, being the Senior Special Assistant to President Goodluck Jonathan from July 2012 to May 2015, and being the Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer, and a signatory to the bank account of Abrahams Telecoms Ltd, on or about the 3rd October, 2014 in Abuja within the jurisdiction of this Honourable Court, directly took possession or control of the sum of N35 million, transferred to the account of Abrahams Telecoms Ltd from the account of the Office of the National Security Adviser with the Central Bank of Nigeria purporting to be for special services when you reasonably ought to have known that the said fund formed part of the proceeds of an unlawful activity”.

Okupe who is also a chieftain of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), however, pleaded “not guilty” to the charges.

Upon his plea, the prosecuting counsel, Ibrahim Audu, asked for a date for the commencement of the trial.

But Okupe’s counsel, Tolu Babaleiye, through a motion on notice dated December 17, 2018, prayed the court to admit the defendant to bail.

He said, “The defendant will in no way tamper with evidence since the proof of evidence is before the court that means investigation has been concluded.”

After listening to both parties, Justice Ojukwu granted bail to the defendant in the sum of N100 million with one surety in like sum.

Again, EFCC Arrests Doyin Okupe

Again, EFCC Arrests Doyin Okupe
Doyin Okupe, a former Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity to former President Goodluck Jonathan

 

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has re-arrested and detained a former presidential adviser, Dr Doyin Okupe.

Okupe, who is also a chieftain of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), confirmed his arrest to Channels Television on Friday.

He disclosed that he was detained today and would be arraigned on Monday next week, as against the January 18.

The anti-graft agency also confirmed the development to Channels Television in a telephone interview.

READ ALSO: EFCC Detains Doyin Okupe

It explained that Dr Okupe was being charged for corruption and would be arraigned at the Federal High Court in Abuja next week.

Okupe, however, faulted the change of date for his arraignment by the anti-corruption agency.

According to the former adviser to ex-President Goodluck Jonathan, the EFCC made the change without consultation with his lawyers.

He said his lawyers were only informed about the alteration in the date on Friday evening.

In December last year, the PDP chieftain claimed that some EFCC operatives stormed his residence in Lagos and confronted him with an allegation of cybercrime.

He also alleged that the operatives asked him to follow them to their office without a warrant for his arrest and he declined to follow them.

Instead, Okupe said he offered to visit the office of the anti-graft agency.

Okupe was later taken into custody by the EFCC and questioned over allegations of financial fraud and other activities in his office during the previous administration.

He was held for several days until his case was charged to court.

Cybercrime Allegation: EFCC Releases Okupe

PDP Calls For Doyin Okupe's Release
Doyin Okupe,a former Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity to former President Goodluck Jonathan

 

Former presidential adviser, Dr Doyin Okupe, has been released from the custody of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).

Mr Okupe who was released on Wednesday evening after spending two days in detention said he had been granted administrative bail.

He told Channels Television that he was handed a charge sheet which had 59 counts, bordering on breach of trust and money laundering, allegations relating to his activities when he was in government as a Senior Special Assistant to former President Goodluck Jonathan.

Read Also: EFCC Detains Doyin Okupe

PDP Calls For Doyin Okupe’s Release

PDP Calls For Doyin Okupe's Release
A file photo of PDP chieftain, Doyin Okupe

 

Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has called for the immediate and unconditional release of its chieftain, Dr Doyin Okupe, by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).

In a statement on Tuesday, it alleged that Okupe’s arrest and detention was an act by the Muhammadu Buhari administration to intimidate the opposition ahead of the 2019 general elections.

“This arrest is part of the grand plot to escalate the clampdown on opposition leaders, in the attempt to cow and subjugate them as the elections draw nearer, a scheme the PDP had since alerted the nation about,” the PDP claimed in the statement by its National Publicity Secretary, Kola Ologbondiyan.

It alleged that the EFCC was unleashed on its chieftain with “fabricated charges”, just because of his criticisms of the Buhari administration.

READ ALSO: EFCC Detains Doyin Okupe

The party recalled that Okupe had asked the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) on Wednesday last week to declare President Buhari as not validly nominated as a presidential candidate for the 2019 elections.

It said, “Since this comment, Dr Okupe has been threatened, harassed and his home raided by officials of the EFCC last Saturday over claims of cyberstalking, which they could not substantiate, only for the commission to arrest and detain him on Monday.”

“It is indeed unfortunate that the EFCC, under President Buhari, has been turned to a militant wing of the All Progressives Congress (APC) to hound, intimidate, harass and even extort money from opposition leaders and other Nigerians perceived to be opposed to Mr President’s ill-fated re-election bid,” the opposition party alleged.

It, however, challenged the EFCC to probe officials of the Presidency allegedly indicted for corruption, as well as members of the All Progressives Congress (APC) accused of extortion.

The PDP said, “We challenge our now well-trained EFCC officials to join our security agencies and deploy their technology in the fight against terrorism in the North East.”

It further warned against chasing after opposition leaders and their family members, saying such would distract the party from reclaiming power at the centre in 2019.

EFCC Detains Doyin Okupe

Doyin Okupe

 

A former presidential aide, Doyin Okupe, has being detained by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Abuja as he spends second day in their office.

Acting spokesperson of the anti-graft agency, Tony Orilade, told Channels Television on Tuesday that Okupe is in the custody of the agency because he has questions to answer over alleged financial activities in his office when he was in government.

Doyin Okupe had earlier on Saturday took to his official Twitter handle to announce that EFCC operatives were at his home in Lagos.

READ ALSO: EFCC Operatives ‘Storm’ Doyin Okupe’s Home

He said that he is being confronted with an allegation of cyber crime and was asked to follow them to their office, but they did not have a warrant for his.

He, however, declined to follow them, offering instead to visit their office on Monday.

He then reported at the office of the anti-graft agency in the Wuse area of the nation’s capital on Monday and has since remained there.

EFCC Operatives ‘Storm’ Doyin Okupe’s Home

 

A Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) leader and former presidential aide, Dr Doyin Okupe, says EFCC operatives were at his home in Lagos on Saturday.

Dr Okupe took to Twitter to announce incident, informing his followers that the operatives confronted him with an allegation of cybercrime and asked him to follow them to their office, but they did not have a warrant for his.

He, however, declined to follow them, offering instead to visit their office on Monday.

The former presidential aide told Channels Television in a phone interview that he declined to follow the officials because they had no warrant for his arrest.

He said when he was informed that two EFCC officials wanted to see him, he asked that they should be let into the house, even though he had no idea why they were at his home.

Narrating what happened after he asked that the officials be let in, Okupe said, “They brought them in, two of them, into my sitting room and they showed me their identity cards, (adding) that they were from the EFCC and asked me to follow them.

“I found that quite troubling… you come to my house (with) no notice, no letter of invitation, nothing; no warrant of arrest (and say) that I should follow you, on a Saturday.

“I told them that that is not right. As a citizen of this country, I should not be treated that way. I am not a common criminal, I am a well-known person and I am a responsible man, law-abiding.”

Okupe said he also informed the officials that he had been to the EFCC office several times and reporting to the agency was not a problem to him.

Consequently, he said he declined to follow the men, prompting them to say they were going to get a letter and another detachment of officials to ensure he complies with their demands.

“I said that is still not going to work. Invite me, then I will tell you when – within a reasonable time – I will come. But if you bring a warrant of arrest, I don’t have any choice than to follow you,” he added.

According to the PDP chieftain, after a protracted argument during which he gave the officials his word that he will report to their office on Monday, they left.

Asked about the allegation of cybercrime, he said he did not know exactly what they were accusing him of but suspected it might be related to his social media activities.

“I imagine that, in recent times, if you write something on Facebook or you retweet something that the government considers to be hate speech… those things have been added to cybercrime now,” he said.

He, however, denied doing anything wrong, stressing that there was the need to differentiate between civil liberties and oppression.

Despite insisting that he has done no wrong, Dr Okupe said he would keep his word and report to the EFCC office on Monday.

Meanwhile, sources at the EFCC confirmed that officials were at Okupe’s home because he violated the country’s Cybercrime Act.