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Okupe sentenced to 2-year imprisonment over money laundering

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A Federal High Court in Abuja has sentenced a former Special Adviser to the President on Public Affairs, Dr Doyin Okupe to two years imprisonment for breaching the money laundering act.

In a judgment on Monday, Okupe, who is now Director General of the Labour Party presidential campaign council, was found guilty of 26 out of a 59-count charge preferred against him by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).

Justice Ijeoma Ojukwu sentenced Okupe to two years in prison on each of the counts. But the sentence is to run concurrently.

The judge however gave Okupe an option of N500,000 fine on each of the counts — totalling N13 million.

In 2019, the EFCC arraigned Okupe 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 Limited.

Okupe was said to have received cash from the office of the National Security Adviser (NSA) while Col. Sambo Dasuki (rtd) was in charge of that office.

Justice Ojukwu found Okupe guilty of contravening sections 16(1) and (2) of the Money Laundering Act by accepting cash payments in excess of the threshold allowed under the Act, without going through a financial institution.

The judge said the NSA is not a financial institution and, although the then President allegedly authorised the funds, he did not specify a cash payment in violation of the Money Laundering Act.

“I find the first defendant, Dr Doyin Okupe, guilty on counts 34, 35, 36, to 59″, the court ruled.

The judge, however, found the defendants not guilty on Counts one to 33 on the grounds that the prosecution failed to establish the charge of money laundering, criminal breach of trust, and corruption against the NSA.

Testifying shortly after the conviction in accordance with Section 310 of the Administration of Criminal Justice Act (ACJA), Omolola — Okupe’s wife — and Adesunkanmi — his son — pleaded with the court to temper justice with mercy.

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