EFCC arraigns Okupe over alleged N702m fraud

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has arraigned Dr Doyin Okupe at the Federal High Court, Maitama.

Okupe, a former aide to former President Goodluck Jonathan, was arraigned before Justice Ijeoma Ojukwu on Monday in Abuja.

He was arraigned along with two companies, Value Trust Investment Ltd and Abrahams Telecoms Ltd, over allegations of fraud.

According to a statement from the anti-graft agency, Okupe was charged with 59 counts bordering on “money laundering and criminal diversion of funds” to the tune of N702 million.

One of the counts read: “That you, Dr Doyin Okupe, being the Senior Special Assistant to President Goodluck Jonathan from July 2012 to May 2015, and being the Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer, and a signatory to the bank account of Abrahams Telecoms Ltd, on or about the 3rd October, 2014 in Abuja within the jurisdiction of this Honourable Court, directly took possession or control of the sum of N35 million, transferred to the account of Abrahams Telecoms Ltd from the account of the Office of the National Security Adviser with the Central Bank of Nigeria purporting to be for special services when you reasonably ought to have known that the said fund formed part of the proceeds of an unlawful activity”.

Okupe who is also a chieftain of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), however, pleaded “not guilty” to the charges.

Upon his plea, the prosecuting counsel, Ibrahim Audu, asked for a date for the commencement of the trial.

But Okupe’s counsel, Tolu Babaleiye, through a motion on notice dated December 17, 2018, prayed the court to admit the defendant to bail.

He said, “The defendant will in no way tamper with evidence since the proof of evidence is before the court that means investigation has been concluded,” he said.

After listening to both parties, Justice Ojukwu granted bail to the defendant in the sum of N100 million with one surety in like sum.

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