A former Senior Special Assistant to ex-President Goodluck Jonathan, Doyin Okupe, has paid the N13 million fine slammed on him on Monday, December 19, by a Federal High Court in Abuja after he was found guilty of receiving over N200m cash from a former National Security Adviser, Col. Sambo Dasuki (retd).
In the judgment delivered by Justice Ijeoma Ojukwu, the trial court held that the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, successfully established its case against Okupe, that evidence before it established that he had in the discharge of his official duties, accepted cash payments that were above the statutory threshold, without recourse to a financial institution. The EFCC had alleged that Okupe received funds from the office of the National Security Adviser, NSA, which he could not account for. He was convicted and sentenced to two years imprisonment on counts 34 to 59. The charges are centered on accusations of receiving various sums ranging from N10million in different occasions from 2012 to 2015 from ONSA when he was senior special assistant on public affairs to former President Goodluck Jonathan. The court however gave the defendant an option of N500, 000 fine on each of the counts.
He was therefore sentenced to two years imprisonment by Justice Ijeoma Ojukwu of a Federal High Court in Abuja with an option of N500, 000 fine on each of the 26 count charges for which he was found guilty. She said he had up to 4.30 pm to pay the fine option totalling N13m on all the charges he was found guilty of or be sent to the Kuje Correctional Centre.
Shortly after his conviction, Okupe’s counsel, 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 is currently treating in Nigeria and outside the country.
Punch reports that Okupe succeeded in paying his fine before the deadline and was allowed to go home.
“Okupe has paid. They returned with the bank papers around 4.25pm. The court processed it, and everybody signed, including the EFCC lawyer.”a source said
Shortly after his release, Okupe tweeted
“God is not man. The enemies have tried in so many ways but kept on failing. Victory is of God.”