Peter Obi’s top Backer, Doyin Okupe, Arrested, Released by DSS at Lagos Airport

Labour Party stalwart, Doyin Okupe, was Thursday morning erroneously arrested and later released by DSS in Lagos, amid fears of politically motivated clampdown

Former Director-General of Obi-Datti Presidential Campaign Organisation and top stalwart of the Labour Party, Dr Doyin Okupe, was on Thursday morning arrested and momentarily blocked from travelling to London for medical check-up. He was however released about an hour later amid fears of politically-motivated clampdown against him and his leading opposition party. The spokesperson of the State Security Service, Peter Afunanya confirmed the arrest.

In a one-paragraph statement, Mr Afunanya said Mr Okupe “was intercepted by the DSS at Terminal 1 of Murtala Mohammed International Airport, Lagos, this morning at the instance of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC)”.

Afunanya said the DSS handed Okupe over to the Commission which requested for the action. He added that Mr Okupe was billed to fly to London via Virgin Atlantic Airline before he was stopped.

But Okupe in a tweet on Thursday confirmed his brief arrest which he said was made in error. He said the operatives later apologized for their error and released him.

He tweeted: “I was arrested & detained @ the MMIA, Lagos this morning, 12th Jan on my way to UK for medicals; years after my passport had been withheld by the FHC Abuja. I just left the EFCC office where Snr Officers in Lagos & Abuja apologised to me for the error.


The presidential candidate of his party, Peter Obi, is scheduled to speak at Chatham House on Monday, 16 January, to “discuss his vision for policy and governance reforms in Nigeria, including the priorities for tackling deep-rooted insecurity and corruption, and measures to promote social and political mobility for Nigerian citizens”.

Mr Okupe was on 19 December 2022 convicted and jailed for two years after the EFCC successfully prosecuted him for money laundering.

Delivering judgment on the matter, the judge, Ijeoma Ojukwu, held that Mr Okupe was guilty of contravening sections 16(1) and (2) of the Money Laundering Act, for receiving cash payments without going through a bank, in excess of the threshold statutorily allowed.

The politician was found guilty on a total of 26 counts – from counts 34 to 59 of the charges.

The judge sentenced him to two years in prison on count 34 with an option of a fine of N500,000.

The court also sentenced him to two years imprisonment on counts 35 to 59 with an option of a fine of N500,000. The option of fine is to run consecutively on each count while the sentence is to run concurrently.

The judge refrained from making any custodial order but said the convict is the property of the state.

Mr Okupe paid the fine and was therefore not taken into custody subsequently.

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