The Federal High Court sitting in Abuja, Monday, found Dr Doyin Okupe guilty of receiving over N200 million cash from former National Security Adviser (NSA), Col Sambo Dasuki.
Doyin Okupe served as senior special adviser to former President Goodluck Jonathan when the offence was committed.
The court, presided over by Justice Ijeoma Ojuwku, held that the action of Okupe, who is the first defendant in the suit filed by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), violated the Money Laundering Act.
According to the Act, no individual or organization is authorised to receive any sum above N5 million and N10 million respectively without passing through a financial institution. Justice Ojukwu ruled that ‘there is no evidence that the money passed through a financial institution’.
He explained that Col Dasuki was ‘not a financial institution’, adding that even if former President Jothanan gave the orders for the release of the funds, he wouldn’t have ordered that the transaction be made in cash.
He therefore ruled that, “I find the first defendant, Dr Doyin Okupe, guilty in count 34, 35, 36…… 59.” Okupe was however exonerated 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.
It was gathered that counts 34 to 59, which nailed Okupe, implicated him on receiving various sums ranging from N10 million on different occasions from 2012 to 2015 when he was SSA to president Jonathan.
The sums were for running the office, payment of staff and image laundering of the former president and his administration.
Okupe’s counsel, Mr Francis Oronsaye, begged the court to temper justice with mercy, positing that Okupe was a first offender, as well as having health challenges.
Oronsaye, citing Section 310 of the Administration of Criminal Justice Act, pleaded with the court to stand down the matter to enable him to call witnesses to attest to the good character of Okupe.
However, the prosecution lawyer, Mr Audu Ibrahim, objected to the plea. Justice Ojukwu nonetheless stood down the matter to enable the defendant to invite his witnesses before handing down her sentence.
Okupe heads the campaign of Mr Peter Obi, Labour Party’s presidential candidate in 2023 elections.