Saturday, 29 June 2019

Court Adjourns Okupe’s N702m Fraud Trial To Oct 3

Justice Ijeoma Ojukwu of a Federal High Court sitting in Abuja has adjourned the trial of Doyin Okupe, a former Senior Special Assistant on Media to a former president, Goodluck Jonathan, to October 3, 2019.

Okupe, who is being prosecuted by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, is facing a 59-count charge bordering on money laundering, criminal breach of trust to the tune of N702million.

The EFCC through its counsel, Ibrahim Audu, closed its case against him on June 26, 2019after calling its sixth witness, Shuaibu Salisu, a former Director, Administration and Finance in the Office of the National Security Adviser, ONSA.

Salisu, while being led in evidence by Audu, narrated how sometime in 2012 the then NSA, Col. Sambo Dasuki (retd), directed that money totalling about N50million be paid to Okupe.

“Okupe provided his account details where I paid the amount into the bank account of Value Trust Investment,” he said, adding that several payments were made at different times to him.

Justice Ojukwu had afterwards adjourned to June 28, 2019 for the defence to open its case.

At the resumed hearing, however, defence counsel, J.K. Gadzama, SAN, instead, moved an application for the leave of the court, to allow Okupe travel for medicals.

The prosecution left the decision to the discretion of the court.

Afterwards, the trial judge granted the application permitting him to travel to the United States for medicals, and ordered that the international passport of the defendant should be released to him.

“Upon return, he shall return the international passport to the court,” the trial judge added.

The case has been adjourned to October 3, 2019 for adoption of written address on the no-case submission, which the defence intends to file.

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