EFCC arraigns Doyin Okupe over alleged N702m fraud

EFCC arraigns Doyin Okupe over alleged N702m fraud

- The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) arraigns Doyin Okupe, a former aide to Goodluck Jonathan

- Okupe, accused of involvement in an alleged N702 million fraud, pleads not guilty to the charges

- Justice Ijeoma Ojukwu grants the defendant bail in the sum of N100 million and a surety in like sum

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) arraigned Doyin Okupe, a former senior special assistant to ex-president, Goodluck Jonathan, on Monday, January 14, on a 59-count charge bordering on alleged money laundering.

The charge also contained an alleged criminal diversion of funds to the tune of N702, 000, 000.

A statement by the EFCC, signed by Tonu Orilade, its acting spokesperson, and made available to Legit.ng, said Okupe was brought before Justice Ijeoma Ojukwu of a Federal High Court, Maitama, along with two companies, Value Trust Investment Ltd and Abrahams Telecoms Ltd allegedly involved in the commission of the fraud.

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One of the counts against him 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 (NSA) 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.”

The former aide pleaded “not guilty” to the charges.

After taking his plea, the prosecuting counsel, Ibrahim Audu, asked for a date for ‘commencement of the trial’.

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

“The defendant will in no way tamper with evidence since the proof of evidence is before the court that means investigation has been concluded,” he said while urging the court to admit the defendant to bail on self-recognizance.

He added that “he will not jump bail as he is well known.”

In his response to the application, Audu argued that “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 that “there was nothing substantial in the defendant’s affidavit” adding that there is nothing to show that the medical certificate is authentic and nothing to show it meets the requirements of the evidence act as it was electronically generated.

“The court should exercise its discretion judicially and judiciously based on materials supplied before the court.”

He stressed that the court should take into consideration, the gravity of the punishment in the event of conviction on the charges brought against the defendant.

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Justice Ojukwu, however, granted bail to the defendant in the sum of N100 million with one surety in like sum.

“The surety must be resident within the jurisdiction of the court, and must depose to an affidavit of means, must have landed properties which must also be within the jurisdiction of the court.

“Must submit to the court tax clearance papers from 2016 to 2018, also have recent passport photograph. 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,” the judge said.

Legit.ng earlier reported that Doyin Okupe was detained by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).

The PDP's spokesperson, Kola Ologbondiyan, announced Okupe's arrest in a tweet on late evening of Monday, December 10.

He then adjourned the case to February 27, 28 and March 6, 2019, for trial.

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Source: Legit.ng

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