By Temitope Muhideen Convydence
When you read news across Nigeria on daily basis, there will always be a reason to be sober; think the unthinkable, and at the end, you will shake your head in pity with a series of questions running through your mind, and you’ll at the end, ask yourself, how did we get here?
Adedoyin Ajibike Okupe is a physician by job and a politician by career, he was the Special Assistant On media to the Owu born senior citizen, President Olusegun Aremu Okikiola Obasanjo, and a Senior Special Assistant on public affairs to president Goodluck Azikwe Ebele Jonathan, hitherto he had served under two presidents since the of Nigeria since the return of democracy in 1999.
In 2015, when President Buhari assumed office as the new President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, there were reports that an arms procurement deal in Nigeria had resulted in the embezzlement of $2 billion through the office of the National Security Adviser, under the leadership of Colonel Sambo Dasuki, the National Security Adviser at the time. 2 billion dollars meant to stop insurgency was embezzled, that was political treason, giving way to the end of a nation once described as the giant of Africa
The list of the partakers in the arms procurement deal dubbed as “DASUKIGATE” was a long one according to the investigation, Shuaib Salisu, a former director of finance in the office of the National Security Adviser was arrested and interrogated, and his submissions lead to the arrest of the major player in the deal, Colonel Sambo Dasuki. In a written statement, he mentioned several notable Nigerians who were involved in the arms procurement deal. Chief Raymond Dokpesi, chairman emeritus of DAAR Communications Plc, was mentioned in connection with the deal alongside Attahiru Bafarawa, former Governor of Sokoto State, and Bashir Yuguda, former Minister of State for Finance, and a certain Doyin Okupe was alleged to have received 240 million naira cash from the office of the former NSA, Colonel Dasuki, through his director of finance. Okupe was charged in court by the Economic And Financial Crime Commission in 2015.
On the evidence provided to the court by EFCC, on December 20, 2022, the court convicted Okupe of receiving cash 240 millionaire from (part of the money meant for the purchase of ammunition) through Salihu Shuaib. Okupe was sentenced to two years imprisonment for violating money laundering acts yet, the unthinkable happened. Justice Ijeoma Ijeoma held that Okupe had a fine option totaling 13 million naira on the 26 charges he was convicted for, in mathematics that is 500thousands on each of the charges, the fine option was in consideration of the pleadings from Okupe’s wife and his son. In other words, Okupe paid 13 million naira for embezzling N240 million which is only about 5.4% of the total money he was charged for. That is, so to say, robbing Peter to pay Paul. Again, how did we get here? like Asanatola put it “if you ask me, who should I ask?”.
Reports said Okupe paid the N13 million fine option, which means, he can now walk freely like every other patriotic Nigerian. But what are the likely effects of such judgement?. Nigeria, one nation blessed with corrupt, launderers and gluttonous politicians spread across the nooks and crannies of our dear nation, from Lagos to Benue to Anambra to Kano. It’s a reinforcement on their path to continue looting and siphoning our collective patrimony. Okupe’s case judgement will add to their energy for stealing public funds because all they had to do is to steal public funds, be charged, go to court and get an option of fine amounting to 5% of whatever they loot. Like the leader of IPOB, MaaziNnamdii Kanu put it “Nigeria is becoming a zombie “ but if you ask me who I go ask.
Let us visit the Labour Party and her supporters, larger percentage of the party’s presidential candidate, Peter Gregory Obi believes that Obi is a saint, he has no cockroach in his cupboard, in line with their numerous arguments, Obi is surrounded by people with integrity, like former Secretary to the Government of the Federation of Nigeria (SGF) Babachir Lawal who was removed from office for N544 million grass-cutting case, he was recently acquitted by the high court, yet EFFC is going to another court, like Doyin Okupe himself, you will recall that Okupe was initially labor party’s Vice Presidential place holder before the introduction of Dr. Baba Datti Ahmed. Doyin Okupe was the immediate Director General ofthe Obi/Datti Presidential campaign council.
Those are the politicians they described it as a round peg in a round hole , what of the pandora paper that has a connection with Obi himself? Let us leave that to the pages of history since all Obidients preaches is ‘touch not my anointed’.
Obi made a public comment in Akwa Ibom, to tell the Nigeria elites and populace that he won’t be distracted by the conviction of his DG, Obi has equally and literally said “Okupe will continue as my DG”. you want to ask him his reasons? They are friends for many years, that will be the result when he becomes the next President of Nigeria, “Pari passu” government, in my silent prayers I said God forbid but finally Okupe resigned.
Regardless of the situation, the Obidients as they are known, better start to realize that Nigeria politics don’t house saints, people with pure integrity will not venture into politics because the system will pollute them. They have taken over the Twitter space justifying the conviction of their candidate’s DG, if you read them, you can’t help but shake your head. In my view “Okupe’s conviction is a nemesis that is about to tell a story” may Nigeria rise again ever and forever!