An Associate Professor and Director Abuja School of Social and Political Thoughts, Dr. Sam Amadi has described the offence for which the Director General of Peter of Peter Obi Presidential Campaign team, Dr. Doyin Okupe was convicted as an everyday crime.
Okupe was on Monday December 19 sentenced to two years imprisonment with an option of fine. . He was found guilty of accepting cash transaction above N5million thereby contravening the money laundering act. The judgement was delivered by Justice Ijeoma Ojukwu of the Federal High Court in Abuja
He was given an option of paying a sum of N13million, which he has paid according to reports.
The case for which he was convicted began when he was aide to former President Goodluck Jonathan.
An everyday crime
But Amadi described Okupe’s infraction as an everyday crime during a session with Arise News team monitored by Church Times on Tuesday.
He said Okupe was convicted for engaging in transactions above N5 million without going through a financial institution. “This is what people do every day” Amadi said.
Amadi, also a lawyer described the case as a strict liability offence. “The law is not interested in your motive. If you are guilty you are guilty. The judge acquitted him of 31 charges which bother on corrupt enrichment. But the evidence showed that he received more than N5 million allowed by the money laundering act.
“You don’t need to be corrupt to be liable in this case. If you receive more than N5 million, then you are liable. The Judge described him as a man of honour. He did not defraud the country. But he collected cash from the office of the National Security Adviser without going through a financial institution. That was his offence. People commit this crime every day.”
On whether the conviction has tarnished Okupe’s image, Amadi said, “The claim is that Obidients are clean guys. Why then here is one of them being convicted. It is arguable. The constitution says you can only be disqualified from election if you are guilt of a crime which borders on corruption and immorality.
“If you read the judge carefully he says you are not a corrupt person, but we find evidence that you received cash more than what the law allows. Even if the president authorised it, the fact that you received cash, you are liable.”
Amadi said not all convictions carry the import of immorality.