Court finds Labour Party DG, Okupe guilty of violating Money-Laundering Act

Dr. Doyin Okupe was found guilty by Justice Ijeoma Ojukwu of the Federal High Court in Abuja for accepting more than N200 million in cash from the former National Security Adviser (NSA), Col. Sambo Dasuki.

On Monday, Judge Ojuwku ruled that Okupe, the first defendant in the complaint brought by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), had broken the law by failing to report his income.

The judge ruled that “there is no indication that the money passed via a financial institution,” respective of the fact that the Act states that no person or organization shall receive any sum beyond N5 million or N10 million without going through a financial institution.

Justice Ojukwu argued that, although the president may have authorized the monies, he did not instruct that they be sent in cash, which would have been a breach of anti-money-laundering laws.

The court, therefore, found the first defendant, Dr. Okupe, guilty of charges 34, 35, 36, and 59.

However, the judge declared the defendants not guilty on charges 1 through 33 because the prosecution failed to prove money laundering, criminal breach of trust, and corruption allegations.

Okupe was found guilty on charges 34 through 59 for accepting payments totaling more than N10 million while serving as SSA to President Goodluck Jonathan between 2012 and 2015.

He claims that the money was used to “image wash” the previous president and his administration while also covering up wasteful spending on things like running the office and paying employees.

The court, however, ruled that it was illegal to accept such large sums of cash without reporting it as a tax. The sentencing phase of the trial has resumed.

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