EFCC witness testifies as N702m suit against Okupe opens

EFCC witness testifies as N702m suit against Okupe opens

- The EFCC has opened its money laundering and diversion of funds case against former presidential aide, Doyin Okupe

- An operative of the commission who testified, said sometime in 2016, the anti-graft agency received intelligence that some individuals were paid by the ONSA for doing nothing, and that Okupe was one

- The witness further expounded on the reasons given by Okupe, after he was asked to explain why the payments were made

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has opened its case against Dr Doyin Okupe, a former senior special assistant to ex-president Goodluck Jonathan.

Okupe is facing a 59-count charge bordering on money laundering and criminal diversion of funds to the tune of N702m, and is being prosecuted before Justice Ijeoma Ojukwu of the Abuja Federal High Court, Channels TV reports.

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Legit.ng notes that the former presidential aide is alleged to have collected the money from the Office of the National Security Adviser (ONSA) under Col Sambo Dasuki (retd), for doing nothing.

The EFCC’s counsel, Ibrahim Audu, led the first prosecution witness, one Osas Azonabor, an operative of the commission, in evidence during the trial on Wednesday, February 27.

Azonabor informed the court that sometime in 2016, the anti-graft agency received intelligence that some individuals were paid by the ONSA for doing nothing.

He said the EFCC wrote to the ONSA demanding vouchers paid to Okupe after investigations showed that the ex-presidential aide was one of the beneficiaries of the dubious payments.

He said it was realised that cash payment of N50m was made into Okupe’s account, as stated in the voucher of April 8, 2014, upon analysis.

Azonabor also stated that Okupe received another payment of N6m on April 2, 2014.

He added that between 2012 to 2014, there were series of payments in multiples of N10 million made to Okupe.

Azonabor also said the EFCC’s investigation found the sum of N50m paid into the bank account of Value Trust Investment Limited, of which Okupe is a director.

He added that another N35m was paid into the account of Abraham Telecoms Nig. Limited, to which Okupe is a signatory.

He said: “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.”

He further stated that Okupe said the ONSA paid him N10m monthly for 24 months which was then reduced to N5m monthly from January to May 2015.

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

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Recall that Legit.ng previously reported that the EFCC arraigned Doyin Okupe 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, 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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Source: Legit

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