The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has begun investigation into the alleged involvement of Dr. Doyin Okupe in the payment of N2.1 billion from the former National Security Adviser (NSA), Col. Sambo Dasuki, to the former Chairman of DAAR Communications, Chief Raymond Dokpesi.
Investigation revealed that the EFCC has officially written to the presidency to obtain clarification on the role the office of the former SSA on Public Affairs played in facilitating the disbursement of N2.1 billion to Dokpesi.
Okupe was Senior Special Assistant (SSA) on Public Affairs to former President Goodluck Jonathan.
The N2.1 billion was alleged to be part of funds meant for the purchase of arms for the Nigerian military to combat the Boko Haram insurgency in the North-East.
The EFCC, on December 11, arraigned Dokpesi along with his firm, DAAR Investment and Holdings Ltd, on a six-count charge of money laundering and procurement fraud involving N2.1 billion, which he allegedly received from the office of the NSA for the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP)’s presidential media campaigns.
In the letter titled: “Investigation Activities Re: Presidential Media Initiative (PM)” dated December 3, 2015, with Reference number CR:3000/EFCC/ ABJ/STF/VOL.137 and exclusively obtained by our correspondent, the EFCC said it was investigating a case of diversion of public funds in which the sum of N2.1 billion was paid for purpose of providing national public relations project.
“The office is investigating a case of diversion of public funds in which the sum of N2.1 billion was paid for the above national public relations project by the presidency to DAAR communications limited.
“The said funds were paid from the account of the office of the National Security Adviser at the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) in several tranches between January and March 2015, sequel to a formal presentation to the former President on Wednesday, October 15, 2014.”
The letter continued that: “In furtherance of the investigation, we seek your kind cooperation to provide copies of the relevant documentation on the contract, including evidence of public procurement compliance, payment terms etc.”
Okupe, through his office as SSA on Public Affairs, is alleged to have facilitated the approval of special programme known as the Presidential Media Initiative (PMI) through which the N2.1 billion was drawn.
PMI is a pragmatic, anticipatory, responsive and proactive approach programme that was put in place to combat and arrest all perceived and real negative impressions, publications and portrayals of former President Jonathan and the country in the international scene.
According to the programme which copy has been marked by the EFCC as Appendix ‘A,’ the PMI was designed to also confront, combat and decimate the propaganda of the opposition and detractors of the country.
“The programme would be used to reinvigorate the presidency and develop strategies that would create for public appeal and acceptance of the person of Mr. President and his government,” the document said.