The director-general of the Peter Obi presidential campaign, Doyin Okupe, has been convicted by a federal court in Abuja for breaching the money laundering act in a suit filed by the EFCC involving the diversion of funds to the tune of N702 million.
Okupe, who is still reeling from allegations of stealing N20 million meant for crowd-buying at a failed rally staged by the Labour Party, was dragged before Justice Ijeoma Ojukwu by the EFCC for allegedly receiving cash from the office of the National Security Adviser in the previous administration of the PDP.
The court found him guilty of contravening sections 16(1)&(2) of the Money Laundering Act by accepting cash payments in excess of the threshold allowed under the act without going through a financial institution.
“I find the first defendant, Dr. Doyin Okupe, guilty on counts 34, 35, 36, and 59,” the court ruled, deepening the woes of the man and his party given the unabating row ripping it apart over stolen funds donated by the public for campaign activities.
Okupe was a prominent figure in the Goodluck Jonathan presidency which was marred and eventually doomed by damning allegations of corruption, notably the diversion of funds meant for arms purchase by the Office of the National Security Adviser held by Sambo Dasuki.
Dubbed the #DasukiGate, evidence of alarming theft allegedly executed by the then National Security Adviser tarnished the GEJ administration and contributed to his 2015 electoral defeat as many Nigerians, particularly northerners affected by Boko Haram’s reign of terror and deadly advance, turned against the administration.
The conviction further lowers Okupe’s public standing and reputation. It follows his reversed suspension by the Ogun State chapter of the Labour Party over allegations of theft and diversion of party funds designated for crowd purchase at a rally staged by the party in Oyo State.
Although Okupe’s principal, Peter Obi, has tried to portray himself as a political outsider intent on executing revolutionary reforms, his association with characters like Okupe, and his being a running mate of the PDP’s candidate in the previous cycle, undermines that claim. Many now view his ambition as an opportunistic plot to seize power after losing to better-grounded politicians in the PDP.