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Friday, February 3, 2023

Money laundering: Court releases Peter Obi’s campaign DG Doyin Okupe after paying N13m fine

Doyin Okupe, director-general of the Peter Obi presidential campaign council, has paid N13 million as a fine for breaching the Money Laundering Act.

Okupe was found guilty of 26 out of a 59-count charge preferred against him by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).

Recall on Monday, December 19, 2022, Ijeoma Ojukwu, the presiding judge of an Abuja federal high court, sentenced Okupe to two years imprisonment with the option to pay N500,000 fine on each of the counts — totalling N13 million.

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According to reports, there was a condition that the fine must be paid before 4:30 pm on Monday.

Checks at the court on Monday evening showed that Okupe had paid the fine.

The former senior special assistant on public affairs to ex-President Goodluck Jonathan was said to have received cash from the office of the national security adviser (NSA) while Sambo Dasuki, the NSA at the time, was in office.

Ojukwu found Okupe guilty of contravening sections 16(1)&(2) of the Money Laundering Act by accepting cash payments in excess of the threshold allowed under the Act, without going through a financial institution.

The judge said the NSA is not a financial institution and although the former president allegedly authorised the funds, he did not specify a cash payment in violation of the Money Laundering Act.

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“I find the first defendant, Dr. Doyin Okupe, guilty on counts 34, 35, 36, to 59,” the court ruled.

Meanwhile, speaking during an interaction with journalists in Akwa Ibom, Peter Obi, Labour Party (LP) presidential candidate, said the conviction of Okupe will not affect his campaign.

He said; “I am hearing about it (the conviction) just like you. I am still studying what is coming out of the court and everything. I believe in the rule of law. It is not going to demoralise me.

“Today, when I arrived Akwa Ibom,  somebody asked me why I haven’t been using my aircraft because it has been grounded and all that, and I said to him that nothing demoralises me.

“In my life, I have never stayed where they dropped me. Otherwise, I would have been where they dropped me before. This election, if they like, let them do anything about people who are around me, I will get there.”

(NAN)

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