Okupe resigns as Peter Obi’s Campaign Director over conviction
The Director General ( DG) of the Labour Party’s Presidential Campaign Council, Doyin Okupe on Tuesday resigned from his position, following money laundering conviction by a Federal High Court, in Abuja.
Okupe had, following his conviction on Monday, paid the sum of N13m, after Justice Ijeoma Ojukwu found him guilty of receiving over N200 million cash from former National Security Adviser (NSA), Sambo Dasuki.
Okupe paid the N13m fine, just few hours to the deadline given by the Court.
But Okupe, in a twit on Tuesday announcing his resignation, said: “It is time to step aside. But I am with Peter Obi and the Obidients and the Presidential Campaigns till God gives us victory in Jesus Name.”
In a letter he addressed to the Labour Party’s Presidential Candidate, Peter Obi and personally signed by him, Okupe stated thus: “You will recall that I briefed you about my personal travail in seeking Justice speaking and clearing my name using the Nigerian
Legal system to pursue same.
“I have invested too much in your campaign to allow my personal travails to become a source of distraction
“In the circumstances, I have opted to step aside and plead that you appoint a new campaign DG who can continue the assignment with zero distractions.”
Ojukwu had in the judgement, held that the action of Okupe, who is the first defendant in the suit filed by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), violated the Money Laundering Act.
The Judge had held that the Act provides that no individual or organization shall receive any sum above N5 million and N10 million respectively without passing through a financial institution, adding that “ there is no evidence that the money passed through a financial institution”.
Ojukwu had based her judgement on the fact that the NSA is not a financial institution, adding that even if the president was said to have authorized the funds, he did not say that the money must be paid in cash in violation of money laundering.
The court therefore, held that the first defendant, Okupe was guilty in counts 34, 35, 36, and 59.
Ojukwu however said Okupe was found not guilty in counts 1 to 33 on the grounds that the prosecution failed to establish the charge of money laundering and criminal breach of trust and corruption against the NSA.
In counts 34 to 59 upon which Okupe was convicted, he was accused of receiving various sums ranging from N10 million on different occasions from 2012 to 2015 when he was SSA to President Goodluck Jonathan.
The court sentenced Okupe to two years imprisonment on count 34 with an option of a fine.
But speaking earlier on the judgement in Uyo, Peter Obi had stated that the Conviction of Doyin Okupe will not break his resolve to be Nigeria’s president come 2023.
“I am hearing about it (the conviction) just like you. I am still studying what is coming out of the courts and everything. I believe in the rule of law. It is not going to demoralize me.
“Today when I arrived Akwa Ibom somebody asked me why I haven’t been using my aircraft because it has been grounded and all that and I said to him that nothing demoralizes me.
“In my life I have never stayed where they dropped me otherwise I would have been where they dropped me before. This election if they like let them say anything about people who are around me. I will get there”.
The Labour Party candidate while speaking at the campaign rally, in Uyo, the Akwa Ibom capital, reassured Nigerians that the era of unfulfilled promises is gone for good with him and Ahmad Datti running the Presidency.
According to him, “When I came here, I was told that the most important thing for the people of Akwa-Ibom is the Deep Sea Port and I promised that when I leave this place, I will go and see the Port so that when I start as the president, I will put it in place.
“That sea port was visited in 1983. Senators came here and said it was going to be a Deep sea port, next year will be 40 years. 40 years is what the children of Israel stayed in the wilderness. It is about to work after 40 years”.
The LP flag bearer noted that for the years the Federal Government has not done anything in Akwa-Ibom. All they come here to do is to make promises, promising that that era has come to an end.
“You cannot drive from here to Calabar or to Umuahia or drive from here to Aba. Everywhere is unsecured, nothing. It has been promise and fail. This is reality now, it will happen now. You know I won’t give fake promises.
“We want to make Nigeria to work again. A new Nigeria is possible with you. What is Peter Obi and Datti Ahmed going to do? I want you to listen to me.
“If you check the major parties and their presidential candidates, I am the youngest. Also Datti and I, put together, have the youngest average age compared with other candidates. So we are ready to work. If you add our educational qualification, we are far ahead of others. We have been successful in our businesses, we are entrepreneurs, we have created wealth and we are prepared to create more.
“Our first priority is to secure Nigeria. We will provide the security. We will unite Nigeria. It is only politicians that divide us, we do not have reason to be fighting each other. We are tired of the division. Everybody will come together, we will provide law and order.