An Abuja-based lawyer, Mr Tolu Babaleye, on Saturday night raised the alarm that the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission had perfected strategies to keep a former presidential spokesman, Doyin Okupe, out of circulation, ahead of next month’s elections.
Babaleye, in a statement in Abuja, alleged that the anti-graft agency was “coming up with what seems a ‘white’ lie to justify the detention and hasty arraignment of Dr Doyin Okupe.”
He also said, “The commission claimed that the former presidential spokesman is being detained because he jumped bail. This definitely appears a poorly concocted lie because record has it that Okupe has made it a ritual to report daily at the anti-graft agency’s office in line with the term of his administrative bail.
“It is also a fact that Okupe reported as usual at the EFCC office on Friday and he was detained. The question now for the EFCC is how could a man being accused of jumping bail still comply with the burdensome terms of his bail to report daily at the commission’s office.”
Babaleye alleged further that “the real reason for Okupe’s detention and planned hasty arraignment, is to get the vocal former presidential spokesman out of circulation at the peak of electioneering.”
He said, “The EFCC is acting on the instructions of the Presidency to ensure that Okupe is particularly silenced ahead of the PDP presidential campaign slated for Monday, January 14; which is coincidentally the new date for his hasty arraignment.”
Meanwhile, a source at the office of the EFCC chairman, who spoke on condition of anonymity, described allegations by Okupe’s lawyer as baseless.
He said, “I’m aware that Okupe will be charged to court on Monday and it’s the court that will determine his fate. I wonder why a lawyer should say such things when the commission has already made arrangements to arraign his client. The lawyer’s allegations are baseless.”