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HomePoliticsDSS says Labour chieftain Okupe arrested, released on directive of EFCC

DSS says Labour chieftain Okupe arrested, released on directive of EFCC

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The Department of State Service (DSS) has explained the circumstances surrounding the arrest of Doyin Okupe, the immediate past Director-General of the Labour Party (LP) Presidential Campaign Council, at Murtala Mohammed International Airport in Lagos State, citing the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) as the mastermind behind the interception.

Okupe was sentenced to two and a half years in prison last year for violating the Money Laundering Act.

Okupe was charged in court, according to the EFCC, for receiving N702 million in illegal payments from public funds meant to procure arms to fight insurgency in 2019.

The Federal High Court found him guilty of the crime.

“That you, 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 Limited, on or before October 3, 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 Abrahams Telecoms Limited.

In a judgment, Justice Ojukwu held that Okupe, also the former Senior Special Assistant (SSA) on Media to ex-President Goodluck Jonathan, was found guilty of violating Sections 16(1)&(2) of the Money Laundering Act by accepting cash payments in excess of the Act’s threshold.

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The Public Relations Officer for the DSS, Peter Afunanya said the former LP campaign DG was arrested at the Lagos Airport on Thursday after attempting to leave the country for London.

“Doyin Okupe was intercepted by DSS at Terminal 1 of Murtala Mohammed International Airport, Lagos this morning at the instance of the EFCC,” Afunanya said in a text message, according to The PUNCH.

“He has long been handed over to the commission which requested the action. Okupe was billed to fly to London via Virgin Atlantic.

Tolu Babaleye, one of Okupe’s lawyers, has reacted on Facebook, bemoaning his client’s arrest.

Following his money laundering conviction by the Federal High Court in Abuja, Babalaye claimed that the DSS asked him to provide court processes in which he paid the fine option.

“The reason according to the source is that he was asked to produce evidence that the Federal High Court Abuja has freed him from the case in which he was convicted and paid a fine to the knowledge of the whole world and was allowed to go home.

“When will this harassment stop? Who is after Dr Okupe? As of today, the man has no case to answer, I hereby demand that the DSS should release my client immediately as this is a violation of his freedom of movement, right to liberty and dignity as a human person. This is unfair as the man’s health is fast failing,” he wrote.

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