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Court jails LP campaign chair, Doyin Okupe for money laundering

Abuja—A Federal High Court sitting in Abuja has sentenced the Director General of the Labour Party Presidential Campaign Council, Doyin Okupe, to two years imprisonment for breaching the Money Laundering Act.

However, the court gave an option of a N500,000 fine which should be paid before 4.30pm on Monday, December 19.

According to the Center for Investigative Reporting Nigeria, the court presided by Justice Ijeoma Ojukwu convicted Okupe for receiving cash over the threshold permitted by the Money Laundering Act from former National Security Adviser (NSA). Col. Sambo Dasuki.

Okupe was charged for breaching sections 16(1) and (2) of the Money Laundering Act while he was serving as Senior Special Assistant on Media to ex-President Goodluck Jonathan.

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) had arraigned Okupe in 2019 on a 59-count charge bordering on alleged money laundering and diversion of funds to the tune of N702 million.

He was arraigned alongside two companies – Value Trust Investment Ltd and Abrahams Telecoms Ltd.

Delivering judgment on Monday, Justice Ojukwu held that Okupe violated provisions of the Act which stated that no individual or organization shall receive any sum above N5 million and N10 million respectively without passing through a financial institution.

“There is no evidence that the money passed through a financial institution,” the judge said, adding that the Office of the National Security Adviser lacks the autonomy to pay the amount in cash.

In his defense, Okupe had told the court that the money was expended on office management, staff salary and wage and image laundering of the former president and his administration.

However, the court held that receiving such amounts in cash violated the Money Laundering Act.

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