January 12, 2023

Okupe’s arrest, infringement on his rights, says lawyer

By Biodun Busari

Former Director-General of Peter Obi’s presidential campaign council, Dr Doyin Okupe’s lawyer, Tolu Babaleye has said his arrest by the Department of State Services (DSS) was an infringement on his right to movement.

Okupe was arrested on Thursday morning by DSS officials at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Lagos on his way to the United Kingdom for a routine medical checkup.

Babaleye who spoke to Vanguard shortly after the incident said Okupe’s arrest was instructed by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).

Babaleye, who spoke to a DSS official after the arrest, said that he has been taken to the DSS office at Ikosi, Lagos.

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“After he has been discharged by the court, he was travelling to the UK for a medical checkup routine. He was now arrested this morning at Murtala Mohammed International Airport. Now on getting there, when he was at the point of checking his passport, they said he should step aside,” Babaleye said.

The lawyer said further, “After that, DSS approached him and said they wanted to take him to his office. His phones were seized from him. He was not even given permission to speak to anybody. He was one of the people that were there and know him that called me and file this report.

“That’s why I quickly sent that information. After two hours, I called him, but his phone was still ringing and not given access to answer it.

“And I now called the wife, who has apparently walked to the place. But, one of the officers of the DSS took the phone of the wife and confirmed the story that he was actually arrested. And I asked why. And she said she cannot disclose it to me.

“And I called her again, and this time around I told the DSS officer to let me speak to him. And he told me that he was being arrested on the instruction of the EFCC.”

“He was arrested on the instruction of the EFCC. That he has to clear with the EFCC. He asked what kind of clearance after he has been discharged by the court. He’s on his way to the DSS office at Ikosi, Lagos.” He added.

Meanwhile, DSS has confirmed the arrest of the former Presidential Spokesman Dr Doyin Okupe, saying he was arrested on the instruction of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission.

The confirmation was made via a statement by the Public Relations Officer of the DSS, Dr Peter Afunanya in a statement sent to Vanguard.

Afunanya said: “Doyin Okupe was intercepted by the DSS at Terminal 1 of Murtala Mohammed International Airport, Lagos this morning at the instance of the EFCC.

“He has long been handed over to the commission which requested for the action. “Okupe was billed to fly to London via Virgin Atlantic,” the statement said.

Recall the Federal High Court sitting in Abuja, on Monday, 19, 2022 sentenced the former Senior Special Assistant, SSA, on Media to ex-President Goodluck Jonathan to two years in prison.

The court, in its judgment delivered by Justice Ijeoma Ojukwu, convicted Okupe who is the Director General of the Presidential Campaign Council of the Labour Party, LP, for acting in breach of the money laundering Act.