$2.1b arms scandal: EFCC interrogates Okupe over N162m ‘illicit payment’
The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) yesterday confirmed a fresh grilling of Dr. Doyin Okupe, who was a former Senior Special Assistant to ex-President Goodluck Jonathan.
Okupe was questioned over alleged N162million illicit payments to him and his companies by a former National Security Adviser, Col. Sambo Dasuki (rtd), and Chanchaga Local Government in Niger State.
But the former presidential spokesman pleaded with the EFCC not to detain him because he has a heart problem.
Although the anti-graft agency admitted Okupe to bail on compassionate ground, he was mandated to be reporting at intervals.
According to a top source, Okupe had been reporting to the anti-graft agency after he was initially interrogated on June 22, 2016.
The source said: “He has been coming to the EFCC over fresh allegations bordering on illicit payments received from the Office of the former National Security Adviser, Col. Sambo Dasuki, as well as strange payments to his companies by a council in Niger State.
“He was quizzed over N50million which he collected in cash from the former NSA without record or accountability.
“We also got evidence that a company that is owned by him, Romic Soil Fix International Limited, received N63million from Chanchaga Local Government of Niger State and another N13.5m from the same council, for reasons that are not stated.
“Another company that is linked to Okupe, Abraham Telecoms Limited, allegedly received N35.5million from the NSA through the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).
“The payments from the Chanchaga Local Government to Romic were made on November 21, 2014 during the PDP primary election and February 13, 2015, just before the general election.
“He has not been able to explain the receipts and has been asked to be reporting at intervals.
“The reason he is not detained is because he claimed to have a heart condition and presented a medical report to back the claim”.
But Dasuki had last week said he was ready for trial in connection with the $2.1billion arms deals.
He insisted that he disbursed all the funds credited to the ONSA based on the directive of ex-President Goodluck Jonathan.
He said: “Based on the service rules in the security circle, I owe it a duty to obey the President and Commander-in-Chief. Ex-President Jonathan approved all the expenses incurred by the ONSA.
“I am ready to prove in court how we complied with the directive of the ex-President.”