Dasukigate: EFCC closes case against Okupe

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, (EFCC) has closed the criminal case against the former Senior Special Assistant to ex-President Goodluck Jonathan on Media, Doyin Okupe.

Mr Okupe is charged with laundering N702 million.

This was disclosed in a statement signed by the commission’s spokesperson, Tony Orilade, on Wednesday.

Mr Okupe, a chieftain of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), was arrested by the agency on December 12, 2018, but released on administrative bail. He was later rearrested on January 11.

The commission then explained that Mr Okupe was being charged on 59-count for corruption and would be arraigned before a judge, Ijeoma Ojukwu, of the Federal High Court in Abuja.

According to the statement, the prosecution counsel, Ibrahim Audu, presented his last and sixth witness, Shuaibu Salisu, former Director Administration and Finance in the Office of National Security Adviser (ONSA), who presently works with the National Intelligence Agency (NIA).

Mr Salisu told the court that “sometime in 2012, Chief Okupe came to the Office of the National Security Adviser, and after their discussion, I was directed to make a payment of N50 million to him.”

According to him, “Okupe provided his account details, where I paid the amount into the bank account of Value Trust Investment.”

He further said he was also directed by the ONSA ”to be paying N10 million monthly to Okupe for over two years”, which he said was reduced to a monthly N5 million towards the end of 2014 due to paucity of funds.

Similarly, he said he made other payments to Mr Okupe as directed, saying that at a point he was instructed to pay the defendant N6 million.

Mr Salisu further revealed that sometime in 2014, the then National Security Adviser, Sambo Dasuki, directed that he paid the sum of N35 million to an account provided by the defendant.

Also, he recalled paying another N50 million in cash to Mr Okupe on the orders of the former NSA.

He told the court that he only obeyed directives but did not know what the monies were meant for.

Asked if there were evidence of the payments, the witness told the court that he usually provided Mr Okupe with the payment vouchers, which he usually signed.

Further questioned if all the payments were captured in payment vouchers, Mr Salisu replied in the negative.

Speaking under cross-examination by Mr Okupe’s counsel, Akinlabi Akinbade, the witness disclosed that the former media aide was not the only person that received payments from ONSA.

“Anybody that the NSA directs that payment be made to, we make the payment,” he said.

Under the same cross-examination, the witness said he had no reason to believe that the payments he made were from an illegal source.

“Why would I assume it was illegal? I was only directed to make payments,” he said, adding that some of the payments instructions he carried out while working in the ONSA, came verbally ”while some others came written, but in the case of the payments to Okupe, all the instructions were verbal”.

The matter was adjourned to June 26, for the defence to open its case.

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