Foremost anti graft agency, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has tender more classified documents in evidence against Doyin Okupe and this documents were admitted by court.
Doyin Okupe,a former Senior Special Assistant on Public Affairs to President Goodluck Jonathan is being arraigned vt EFCC on a 59 count charge offense for receiving huge amount of money from National Security Adviser, Sambo Dasuki, while he rendered no services
At the resumed trial, Mr. Hassan Saidu, the third prosecution witness who was led in evidence by Mr. Ibrahim Audu, submitted documents, including account opening package for an account in Zenith Bank, a statement made by Okupe and other documents.
Saidu told the court that following intelligence report regarding misappropriation by Okupe, he was invited to the EFCC office and interviewed.
“We invited him in June 2016 to our office and interviewed him in respect of the payments he received from the office of the National Security Adviser (NSA) that was tagged “special services”.
“Okupe said the money he received; N50 million, N35 million, N15 million and subsequent N10 million severally was used to set up his office, pay staff salaries and pay for a programme on NTA called insight, Saidu told the court.
”When we asked him where the instructions that led to the payment of all the monies came from, he claimed that there was a request that was approved by the former president to the NSA to effect the payment,” he said.
The witness, however, added that Okupe could not produce evidence of the said request.
Saidu also told the court that upon further investigations, the agency could not link any disbursement to payment of staff salaries.
He also said that the only receipt Okupe could produce when asked for receipts of all the things he claimed he used the money for was one of N120,000 paid to Infinity Security Services.
The trial judge, Justice Ijeoma Ojukwu adjourned the matter until April 1 for the defence team to cross-examine the witness.
Okupe was arraigned alongside two companies, Value Trust Investment Ltd and Abrahams Telecoms Ltd, over allegations of misappropriation of funds amounting to over N240 million received from the former NSA.The money is said to be part funds set aside during the Jonathan administration to purchase arms at the heat of the Boko Haram insurgency.
In other related news a Federal High Court, Abuja Wednesday approved the withdrawal of Onyechi Ikpeazu, SAN, from further representing former spokesman of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Olisa Metuh.It would be recalled that Metuh is standing trial on a seven-count charge preferred against him by the EFCC for allegedly receiving N400 million from former National Security Adviser (NSA), Col Sambo Dasuki (rtd).
Also, Ikpeazu on the last adjournment had filed a motion to withdraw from the matter alleging immense pressure and threats to his life.
In an affidavit in support of the motion on notice, Ikpeazu averred that he had received numerous threats to his life from diverse sources through telephone calls with disguised numbers.
He said the persons calling gave him an ultimatum and threatened to kill him based on the manner they claimed he had been mishandling the case.
But in another twist today, Metuh was said to have even debriefed his counsel ahead of the date fixed to hear the motion as filed by his counsel.
The trial judge, Justice Okon Abang said, “This case was adjourned to today to consider Ikpeazu’s motion seeking withdrawal from legal representation of the defendant.
“But the defence counsel also told the court that he had even been debriefed by his client.
” The counsel can withdraw his motion because it has been overtaken by event.
“The court cannot strike out the motion because a counter motion had been made. The application can only be dismissed and, is hereby dismissed.
“However, the court is wondering the effect of the legal strategy by the client but can’t question his decision and fundamental right to engage and disengage his client”.
Meanwhile, the court had ordered for a day to day hearing of the matter and, Metuh had simultaneously engaged Barrister Abel Ozioko as his new counsel.
Announcing his appearance, Ozioko asked the court for two weeks adjournment within which to have full briefing and understanding of the extent the matter had progressed before his engagement by his client.
In his ruling, Justice Abang also granted him the two weeks adjournment, adjourned to March 28 but affirmed that the court would no longer admit any frivolous application for further adjournments.
What do you think about this story ? Share your views below