Posted by Ikechukwu Nnochiri | 28 February 2019 | 1,056 times
The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, on Wednesday, narrated before the Federal High Court in Abuja, how it traced diverted funds to account that was operated by erstwhile Senior Special Assistant to former President Goodluck Jonathan on Public Affairs, Dr. Doyin Okupe.
The anti-graft agency told the court that the fund totalling about 702million, was illegally released to Okupe by the Office of the National Security Adviser, ONSA, on the pretence that it was for “Special Services”.
EFCC made the revelation on a day it called its star witness to testify against Okupe who is answering to a 59-count money laundering charge. It alleged that the defendant perpetuated the fraud, using accounts of his two companies, Value Trust Investment Limited and Abrahams Telecoms Ltd.
In his Evidence-in-Chief, the first prosecution witness, PW-1, Mr. Osas Azonabor, who is an operative of the EFCC, told the court that sometime in 2016, the commission got intelligence that some individuals were paid by the ONSA for doing nothing. He said it was in the course of the investigation that it was discovered that Okupe benefited from the largese.
The witness who was led in evidence by the prosecution counsel, Mr. Ibrahim Audu, told the court that EFCC, upon the discovery, wrote a letter to the ONSA, demanding for vouchers of the payments that were made to Okupe.
According to him, after analysing the payment vouchers, it was realised that cash payment of N50 million, was made into Okupe’s account, as stated in one of the vouchers dated April 8, 2014.
He said another cash payment of N6m was found to have also been made to Okupe on April 2, 2014.
The PW-1, explained that there were series of payment in multiples of N10 m that was made to Okupe between 2012 to 2014.
He said the investigation further disclosed that the N50m was paid into Zenith Bank account of Value Trust Investment Limited, a firm that has Okupe as its Director, adding that another N35m was paid into the account of Abraham Telecoms Nig Limited, which has Okupe as its signatory.
Meantime, the court admitted into evidence, Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC) documents on the two firms that were linked to Okupe, as well as a letter of response from ONSA to the EFCC Acting Chairman.
Also admitted into evidence by trial Justice Ijeoma Ojukwu, were statements the defendant made before the EFCC.
•Excerpted from a Vanguard report
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