Doyin Okupe appeals conviction for money laundering
Justice Ijeoma Ojukwu, found Okupe guilty of contravening sections 16(1)&(2) of the Money Laundering Act, for accepting cash payments without going through the financial institution, in excess of the threshold allowed under the Act.
Doyin Okupe, the Campaign Director General of the presidential candidate of the Labour Party, Mr Peter Obi, was released by the authorities after paying the N13m fine slammed on him by a federal high court sitting in Abuja, News Band Newspaper authoritatively gathered.
Dr. Doyin Okupe took the fine option and has since paid and returned home contrary to what some online bloggers are screaming and what some radio and television stations are beaming to the world that he has been taken to prison. Appeal has also been filed against the judgment, Tolu Babaleye, said.
Narrating the facts that led to Dr. Okupe’s convinction, Mr Babalaye told News.Band that in January 2018, Dr. Okupe was charged along with 2 other companies, Value Trust Investments Ltd and Abraham Telecoms Ltd. The Chambers of Joe Kyari Gadzam SAN took the brief of Dr. Okupe, my Chambers Tolu Babaleye & Co., took the brief of Value Trust Investments Ltd while The Chambers of Ayorinde SAN took the brief of Abraham Telecoms Ltd and the 3 Defendants were charged with 59 counts charge jointly and severally. The 3 Law offices worked together in defence of Dr. Okupe and the 2 companies.
The charge No. 1 to 33 were for money laundering, fraud, breach of trust, and collecting money from illegal sources without doing anything with the money while charge No. 34 to 59 were for collecting money in cash by individuals in excess of 5 million Naira thresholds permissible by law without going through financial institutions.
The court after the trial discharge Dr. Okupe and the other 2 Defendants and acquitted them of charges number 1-33 but held that she found out that Doyin Okupe collected cash in excess of 5 million Naira from the Office of the former NSA more than the law permits and which offence is a strict liability offence which doesnot consider motive. Due to this, the court came to the conclusion that Dr. Okupe is a victim of cirmustance not found guilty of corruption especially when it has been established that he is not guilty of corruption and embezzlement of the money he collected from the former NSA, he is also not guilty of collecting money from illegal source and he justified how the monies were expended and based on the approval of the former President Jonathan through the ONSA and especially when the money was not part of the vexed Arms deals money.