The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has said that it would remove the former Director-General of the Labour Party Presidential Campaign Council, Dr Doyin Okupe, from its watchlist following his arrest by the Department of State Security Service at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport in Lagos on Thursday.
Okupe was detained by the Department of State Services (DSS) on Thursday morning at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport in Lagos. The former presidential aide has however been released.
In a statement on its social media handles, the EFCC said Okupe was arrested in error. The statement reads: “The Department of State Services, DSS, today, 12th January, informed the Commission of the interception of Dr Doyin Okupe, former presidential adviser, at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport in Lagos.
“The Service acted on a Watch-list request issued on 18th July 2016, over six years before his recent conviction on money laundering charges by the Federal High Court, Abuja.
“The Commission was in the process of formally lifting the watch-list before his interception and will expedite action in this regard”.
EFCC spokesman, Mr Wilson Uwujaren further said: “The Service acted on a watchlist request issued on 18th July 2016, over six years before his recent conviction on money laundering charges by the Federal High Court, Abuja.
“The Commission was in the process of formally lifting the watch list before his interception, and will expedite action in this regard”.
DSS cited its cooperation with the EFCC as the reason for Okupe’s rearrest earlier today. According to DSS spokesperson, Dr Peter Afunanya, “Okupe was intercepted by the DSS at Terminal 1 of Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Lagos this morning at the instance of the EFCC. He has long been handed over to the Commisson which requested for the action. Okupe was billed to fly to London via Virgin Atlantic”.
Okupe was sentenced to two-and-a-half years imprisonment for breaching the Money Laundering Act.
On 19th December, Justice Ijeoma Ojukwu of a Federal High Court in Abuja sentenced Okupe to two years in prison for breaching the money laundering act. In the judgment, Okupe was found guilty of 26 out of a 59-count charge preferred against him by the EFCC.
Okupe then announced his resignation as Director General of the Labour Party presidential campaign council. His letter to the party’s presidential candidate, Mr Peter Obi read, in part: “I have invested too much in your campaign to allow my personal travails to become a source of distraction.
“In the circumstances, I have opted to step aside and plead that you appoint a new Campaign DG who can continue the assignment with zero distractions.
“It’s time to step aside. But I am with PO and the Obidients and the Presidential Campaigns till God gives us victory in Jesus Name”.