A Federal High Court in Abuja heard on Wednesday how former Senior Special Assistant to former President Goodluck Jonathan, Doyin Okupe was allegedly paid N702m by the Federal Government without doing anything.
Okupe is being tried on a 59-count charge bordering on money laundering, criminal diversion of funds, estimated at N702m.
He is being prosecuted by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).
First prosecution witness, Osas Azonabor, an operative of the EFCC, told the court that sometime in 2016, the commission got an intelligence that some individuals were paid by the office of the National Security Adviser (ONSA) for doing nothing.
Azonabor said when investigations began, it was realised that one of the beneficiaries was Okupe, who is the first defendant.
The witness, who was led in evidence by the prosecution lawyer, Ibrahim Audu, told the court that the EFCC wrote to the ONSA, demanding the vouchers of the payments made to Okupe, who was once an aide to ex-President Olusegun Obasnajo.
He said after analysing the payment vouchers, it was realised that cash payment of N50m was made into Okupe’s account as stated in the voucher of April 8, 2014.
The witness added another cash payment of N6million was found to have been made to Okupe on April 2, 2014.
Azonabor said there were series of payment in multiples of N10 million made to Okupe between 2012 to 2014.
He said EFCC’s investigation found the sum of N50million paid into Zenith Bank account of Value Trust Investment Limited, which Okupe is a director.
The witness added that another N35 million was paid into the account of Abraham Telecoms Nig Limited, in which Okupe is a signatory.
Azonabor said: “He (Okupe) told us he was the Senior Special Assistant to former President Goodluck Jonathan from 2012 and was placed on a monthly salary of N835, 000 paid to him by the SGF,” Azonabor said.
“Okupe said he was paid N10 million monthly for 24 months by ONSA and that the money was reduced to N5million monthly from January 2015 to May 2015”.
“Okupe said the money was for special services and when asked to elaborate what he meant by ‘special services’, Okupe said part of the money was used to sponsor ‘Insight’, a programme on NTA.”
Azonabor told the court that when a letter was written to NTA to confirm the authenticity of the document that emanated from the station, the television station agreed that the document emanated from it.
The witness added: “We also got a follow up letter from the NTA that the programme, ‘Insight’, was later aired free-of-charge as directed by the then Director General of NTA who accepted the programme as part of the station’s Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR).
Azonabor said Okupe claimed that part of the money collected from ONSA was used to pay workers, but when asked to show proof of payment he only brought a list of names on written piece of paper and also a typed paper.
“There was no payment voucher, receipt or pay slip to show evidence of payment and when we asked him to produce staff he paid to, he couldn’t produce any,” Azonabor said.
Further hearing in the case resumes today.
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