The Department of State Services arrested the former director-general of the Labor Party’s Presidential Campaign Council, Doyin Okupe, on Thursday.
In addition, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission has said it will remove Okupe’s name from its watch list following his arrest by the DSS at Murtala Muhammed International Airport in Lagos.
DSS spokesman Dr. Peter Afunanya confirmed Okupe’s arrest to our correspondent on Thursday.
Afunanya said: “Okupe was intercepted by the DSS at Terminal 1 of Murtala Mohammed International Airport, Lagos, this morning at the request of the EFCC. He has long been turned over to the commission that requested the action. Okupe was billed to fly to London via Virgin Atlantic.”
PUNCH had reported on Monday, December 19, 2022 that Okupe was sentenced to two and a half years in prison for violating the Money Laundering Law.
Okupe was convicted and jailed by a Federal High Court in Abuja following his prosecution by the EFCC for money laundering to the tune of N700m.
Reacting to Okupe’s arrest, EFCC spokesman Wilson Uwujaren said: “Regarding the interception of Doyin Okupe; The DSS, today, January 12, informed the commission of the interception of Dr. Okupe, former presidential adviser, at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport in Lagos.
“The Service acted on a watch list request issued on July 18, 2016, more than six years before his recent conviction on money laundering charges by the Abuja Federal High Court.
“The commission was in the process of formally lifting the watch list prior to its interception, and will expedite action on it.”
Although the EFCC had said earlier on Thursday that it would remove Dr. Okupe from its watch list “more quickly,” in a separate phone interview with The PUNCH on Thursday, Uwujaren noted that the removal of Okupe’s name from the watch list would happen by a process for which the EFCC cannot confirm its duration.
Uwujaren said: “There is a process for doing this, and you can’t say, ‘OK, this is the day we’re going to finish the process.’ And I think our statement (earlier Thursday) is explicit, and we stand by it.”
Uwujaren added that he could not confirm a query from our correspondent about whether commission officials apologized to Okupe as the former presidential aide claimed.
Okupe had posted on social media after his release that EFCC officials apologized and released him.