Thursday, May 13, 2021

Dasukigate: Court adjourns Doyin Okupe’s trial to March 6


Rayyan Alhassan
Rayyan Alhassan
Rayyan Alhassan is a 30-year-old graduate of Journalism and Mass Communication at Sikkim Manipal University, Ghana. He is the acting Managing Editor at the Daily Nigerian newspaper, a position he has held for the past 3 years. He can be reached via [email protected], or, or @Rayyan88 on Twitter.
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Justice Ijeoma Ojuwku of the Federal High Court, Abuja has adjourned the trial of a former Senior Special Assistant on Public Affairs to former president, Goodluck Jonathan, Doyin Okupe, to March 6, 2019.

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, had on January 14, 2019 arraigned Mr Okupe on a 59-count charge bordering on “money laundering and criminal diversion of funds” to the tune of N702 million.

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At the resumed sitting, on Thursday, Osas Azonabor, an operative of the EFCC, testifying as the first prosecution witness, was cross-examined by defence counsel, Joe Kyari Gadzama, SAN.

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Mr Azonabor had on February 27, 2019 while being led in evidence by counsel for the EFCC, Ibrahim Audu, narrated how sometime in 2016, the EFCC got intelligence that some individuals were paid by the Office of the National Security Adviser, ONSA, for “doing nothing”.

He further told the court that investigations revealed that Okupe was one of the beneficiaries.

He also added that after analysing payment vouchers, it was realised that cash payment of N50 million was made into Okupe’s account on April 8, 2014. Analysis of several other vouchers also revealed several of such payments.

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Under cross-examination by Gadzama, the prosecution witness told the Court that during investigations, Okupe gave investigators, “so many documents” that were analysed.

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Specifically, when the defence counsel put it to him that payments, as shown on the voucher, were for “special services”, Mr Azonabor replied that the findings proved otherwise.

“When we asked Okupe further about the payments, he said he did not render any special service,” he said.

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