Court hears Okupe’s alleged receipt of N702m windfall from Dasuki
He is standing trial before Justice Ijeoma Ojukwu of the Federal High Court, Abuja for allegedly collecting free money from the Office of the National Security Adviser (ONSA) headed then by Colonel Sambo Dasuki (rtd).
Okupe was arraigned on a 59-count charge bordering on money laundering, criminal diversion of funds to the tune of N702 million.
The first prosecution witness, Osas Azonabor, an operative of the anti-graft agency, while being led in evidence by counsel to the commission, Ibrahim Audu, told the court that sometime in 2016, the EFCC got an intelligence report that some individuals were paid by the ONSA for doing nothing, adding that when investigations began, it was realised that one of the beneficiaries was Okupe, the first defendant.
Azonabor told the court that the EFCC wrote to the ONSA demanding the payment vouchers.
According to him, after analysing the payment vouchers, it was realised that a cash payment of N50 million was made into Okupe’s account on April 8, 2014.
He also stated that another cash payment of N6 million was found to have been made to the same person on April 2, 2014.
The witness explained that there were series of payments in multiples of N10 million made to the accused between 2012 and 2014.
He further said EFCC’s investigation found the sum of N50 million paid into the account of Value Trust Investment Limited, where Okupe is a director, adding that another N35 million was paid into the account of Abraham Telecoms Nigeria Limited, in which he is a signatory.
Azonabor said: “He told us he was the Senior Special Assistant to former President Goodluck Jonathan from 2012 and was placed on a monthly salary of N835,000 paid to him by the SGF.
“Okupe said he was paid N10 million monthly for 24 months by ONSA and that the money was reduced to N5 million monthly from January to May 2015.”
The EFCC official continued: “Okupe said the money was for special services and when asked to elaborate what he meant by ‘special services’, he said part of the money was used to sponsor ‘Insight’, a programme on the NTA.”
The witness further informed the court that Okupe claimed that part of the money collected from Dasuki was used to pay workers, but failed to show a substantial proof of payment.
However, the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC) documents of the firms and a letter of response from the ONSA as well as statements of the defendants were admitted in evidence.
After entertaining the argument, the judge adjourned till today for cross-examination and presentation of other witnesses.
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