Labour Party Campaign Chaiman Convicted Of Money Laundering
Justice Ijeoma Ojuwku of the Abuja Division of the Federal High Court on Monday found Dr. Doyin Okupe, a former Senior Special Adviser to former President Goodluck Jonathan, guilty of receiving over N200 million cash from former National Security Adviser (NSA). Col. Sambo Dasuki.
Fidel Info reports that Justice Ojuwku in a judgment held that the action of Okupe, who is the first defendant in the suit filed by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) violated the Money Laundering Act.
While stating that the Act provides that no individual or organization shall receive any sum above N5 million and N10 million respectively without passing through a financial institution, the judge held that “there is no evidence that the money passed through a financial institution”.
According to Justice Ojuwku, the NSA was not a financial institution, adding that even if the president was said to have authorized the funds, he did not say that the money must be paid in cash in violation of the money laundering Act.
Consequently, the court held, “I find the first defendant, Dr. Doyin Okupe guilty on counts 34, 35, 36…… 59.”
The judge however found the defendants not guilty in counts 1 to 33 because the prosecution failed to establish the charge of money Laundering and criminal breach of trust and corruption against the NSA.
In counts 34 to 59 upon which Okupe was convicted, he was accused of receiving various sums ranging from N10 million on different occasions from 2012 to 2015 when he was SSA to President Jonathan.
The said sum according to him was expended on running the office, payment of staff, and image laundering of the former president and his administration.
But the court however held that receiving such amounts in cash violated the Money Laundering Act.
Shortly after his conviction, his lawyer Mr. Francis Oronsaye, pleaded with the court to temper justice with mercy because the defendant was a first-time offender, a family man who is also advanced in age and having health challenges that he was currently treating in Nigeria and outside the country.
Oronsaye, citing Section 310 of the Administration of Criminal Justice Act, urged the court to stand down the matter to enable him to call witnesses that will attest to the good character of Okupe.
Lawyers to the second and third defendants also lend their voices in the plea for mercy, adding that the convict was a mere victim of circumstances.
Although the request was opposed by the prosecution lawyer, Mr. Audu Ibrahim, the judge however stood down the matter to enable the defendant to call his witnesses before handing down her sentence.
Okupe is the head of the presidential campaign of the Labour Party presidential candidate, Peter Obi.
JUST IN: CBN Orders Banks To Circulate Cash This Weekend
As part of a coordinated effort to facilitate the circulation of banknotes of various denominations, the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, has confirmed the evacuation of banknotes from its vaults to commercial banks throughout the nation.
Fidel Info reports that Also, the CBN has ordered all commercial banks to be open on Saturdays and Sundays. (more…)
UK Court Convicts Ekweremadu, Wife, Daughter Of Human Organ Trafficking
Ike Ekweremadu, a former vice president of the Nigerian senate, along with his wife, daughter, and doctor were found guilty of organ trafficking in the UK.
Fidel Info reports that After a six-week trial at the Old Bailey, Ekweremadu, his wife, Beatrice, daughter Sonia, and Dr. Obinna Obeta were all found guilty of enabling a young man’s visit to Britain with the intention of exploiting him.
The jury concluded that they had illegally planned to transport the 21-year-old street vendor from Lagos to London in order to take advantage of him for his kidney.
The court heard that the man, who cannot be named for legal reasons, had been offered an illegal reward to become a donor for the senator’s daughter after kidney disease forced her to drop out of a master’s degree in film at Newcastle University.
Kano Govt Lifts Dawn To Dusk Curfew
Kano state government has lifted the dawn-to-dusk curfew imposed in the state On Monday.
Fidel Info reports that the curfew was imposed to avoid the breakdown of law and order following tensions generated by the announcement of the results of the governorship and state Assembly elections.
The Independent National Electoral Commission, on Monday, declared Abba Kabir Yusuf of the New Nigeria People’s Party the Gov-Elect of Kano.
He defeated his closest rival and the candidate of the ruling All Progressive Party, Gawuna, with a margin of 100,000 votes.
Yusuf is a close ally of the Presidential candidate of NNPP while Gawuna is a close ally of the incumbent Governor, Ganduje.
The Kano election was seen as an upset and a successful overthrow of the ruling party.
This led the Kano government to impose a curfew to avoid mayhem and breakdown of law and order.
The state commissioner for information and internal affairs, Muhammad Garba, made the announcement lifting the curfew in a statement issued to newsmen in Kano.
According to him, “the decision to lift the curfew was after careful review of the situation and the relative calm throughout the state”.
The commissioner however called on commercial banks, public servants and the people in the state to come out and continue with their normal businesses or day to day activities.
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