•No, I was interrogated for cybercrime, hate speech–Okupe
Ola Akiotu and Lani Adegba
Barely two months ahead of the 2019 polls, Nigeria’s ruling government has arrested the Mr. Doyin Okupe, Spokesperson for the main opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) candidate, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, citing corruption allegations.
According to the nation’s anti-graft agency, Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Okupe was being interrogated for allegedly receiving N100m from the incarcerated former National Security Adviser (NSA), Col. Mohammed Sambo Dasuki (rtd).
Apart from allegedly receiving money from Dasuki, the former presidential aide is also accused of receiving dubious contracts to the tune of N76m from a local council in Niger State.
But rhe spokesperson for the Atiku Abubakar Campaign Organisation, said he was invited by the EFCC for cybercrime, stalking and alleged hate speech.
He said EFCC officials stormed his Lagos home on Saturday and attempted to take him to their office but he resisted.
Okupe said, “The EFCC just stormed my house in Ilupeju Lagos asking me to follow them. No letter. No letter of invitation; no warrant. Saturday!
“The men from the EFCC left my house finally after I promised them that I would be in their office on Monday.
“The officers finally agreed to leave on the promise I would see them on Monday. Offence: cybercrime.”
In a separate interview with our correspondent, Okupe said he would honour the invitation, adding that he would not be intimidated.
The acting spokesman for the EFCC, Mr Tony Orilade, said Okupe was invited for alleged fraud and not for hate speech.
Orilade said contrary to Okupe’s claims, when detectives got to his house, he did not make himself available.
“When our men got to his house, he was said not to be around. We left a message asking him to report on Monday. He is being investigated for alleged fraud and not cybercrime.”
Okupe had admitted publicly that he received N100m from Dasuki based on Jonathan’s instructions.
Okupe, who served as Jonathan’s spokesman from 2012 to 2015, added that he received N10m monthly from Dasuki to pay salaries and run a weekly programme on NTA.
Okupe, who was also quizzed for allegedly receiving some dubious contracts from a local council in Niger State to the tune of N76.5m, said his company, Romix soilfix, was one of the over 20 construction companies that were duly awarded contracts for rural roads some five years ago by the Niger State Government.
According to investigators at the anti-graft agency, Okupe was first invited on June 22, 2016 over fresh allegations bordering on illicit payments received from the account of the Office of the National Security Adviser which is domiciled at the Central Bank of Nigeria.
Credits | The Punch