Okupe has paid N13 million fine – Labour Party

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The Labour Party Presidential Campaign Council (PCC) says its Director-General, Doyin Okupe has paid N13m fine following his conviction by a Federal High Court Abuja on Monday for contravening the Money Laundering Act.

Diran Onifade, PCC media officer disclosed this known in Uyo, the Akwa Ibom State capital.

Peter Obi, Labour Party’s presidential candidate is in Uyo ahead of the party’s rally in the state on Tuesday.

He said as the party that respects the rule of law, its officials will obey court judgments promptly.

Onifade, however, said appealing the judgment is a personal decision Okupe and that the PCC cannot influence that.

Earlier on Monday, Justice Ijeoma Ojukwu found Okupe guilty of receiving over N200 million cash from former National Security Adviser (NSA), Sambo Dasuki.

Delivering the judgement, 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 Ojukwu, the NSA is 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 money laundering.

Consequently, the court held that the first defendant, Okupe was guilty in counts 34, 35, 36, and 59.

The Judge, however, found the defendants not guilty in counts 1 to 33 on the grounds that 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 Goodluck Jonathan.

The court sentenced Okupe to two years imprisonment on count 34 with an option of a fine.