Thursday, 13 December 2018

EXCLUSIVE REPORT - EFCC files 59 charges as Okupe fails to return N120m

Following his inability to return N120 m allegedly received from the Office of the National Security Adviser , the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission has filed 59 charges against a former Senior Special Assistant to the President on Public Affairs , Dr . Doyin Okupe .
It was learnt that Okupe will be arraigned before Justice Ijeoma Ojukwu of the Federal High Court , Maitama .

The charges border on money laundering and criminal diversion of public funds and receiving about N120 m when he “ ought to have known that the said fund formed part of the proceeds of an unlawful activity of Col . Mohammed Sambo Dasuki ( retd . ) the then National Security Adviser, and thereby committed an offence contrary to Section 18 ( a ) of the Money Laundering ( Prohibition ) Act , 2011 ( As amended in 2012 ) and punishable under section 15 ( 3 ) of the same Act . ”

Okupe , who served under former President Goodluck Jonathan from 2012 to 2015 , admitted on social media that he received N10 m monthly from a former National Security Adviser , Col . Sambo Dasuki ( retd . ) based on the instruction of Jonathan .
According to Okupe , the money was meant for a programme on NTA known as ‘ Insight ’ which showcased the achievements of Jonathan .
In his statement , Okupe said , “ The initial N50 m was approved by the President to be paid to me from his security vote . N10m was to furnish my rented living apartment and another N10 m for my office. The balance N30m was approved as take-off grant .

“ The N10m I received from the ONSA monthly was to run my office , pay salaries of staff, including overheads , pay expenses for our numerous press conferences, pay for publications in newspapers, magazines , local and foreign, television programmes , bulletins , and media consultants who assist and facilitate our work . I had about 23 staffers, 11 were graduates out of which five were master ’ s degree holders .
“ The second N50 m was approved again by Mr . President when I reported to him that the monthly allowance had been cut from N10 m to N5 m and that I was no longer in position to keep running a one -hour NTA network programme called ‘ Insight ’ which was aired 9 -10 am every Friday.
“ We paid NTA about N1 . 2 m monthly for airtime . Two presenters were paid N600 , 000 monthly . The lead presenter on Insight earned N400 , 000 and the second presenter earned N200 , 000 . Total N600 , 000 . ”

“ We paid for tapes and editing per programme . Besides we also pay honorarium for guests either directly or in form of hotel bills for those outside Abuja , or transportation .
“ This cost averagely N500 , 000 weekly or about N2 m monthly . All in all , we spend about N4 m monthly on the programme . Mr . President promised to help with the expenses . About a few months later when we had incurred some debts the NSA sent me this N50m which was to cover the cost of the programme for 12 months. ”
However , Mr . Sola Atere, who was the Executive Director ( News ) of the NTA, denied that the station received any money from Okupe .

According to him, the programme was done free of charge as part of the station ’ s Corporate Social Responsibility .
Atere said initially , the programme , ‘ Insight ’ was anchored by external persons but later on NTA presenters took over .
He told the EFCC , “ Two external persons anchored the programme at the inception but midway , they were not forthcoming. So , NTA presenters were detailed to anchor it . No money was charged for production and transmission of the programme . ”


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