Former Senior Special Assistant on Publicity to President Goodluck Jonathan, Dr. Doyin Okupe, has stated his side of the story, detailing his encounter with the EFCC and what he told the anti-graft body.
He denied the sum being bandied in the media to have been collected from the National Security Adviser’s Office by Okupe.
He also lambasted the anti-graft body for making public his health condition that he allegedly told the agency in confidence.
Okupe said as follows in the statement:
“I am constrained to issue this statement in response to certain publications contained in some national dailies about my recent summons by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).
In my interactions with the EFCC, I have been asked to explain only three issues so far:
1. Why I received N50m from the office of the National Security Adviser at the onset of my appointment, and what I used the money for.
2. Why I was paid N10m monthly by the Office of the National Security Adviser.
3. Why I received another sum of N50m from the NSA in October 2014.
These are the ONLY subject of interrogation with the commission so far. My explanations were as follows:
1. The initial N50m was approved by the President to be paid to me from His Security vote. N10m was to furnish my rented living apartment and another N10m for my office.
The balance N30m was approved as take off grant for my office.
2. The N10m I received from the Office of the National Security Adviser monthly was to run my office, pay salaries of staff, including overheads, pay expenses for our numerous press conferences, pay for publications in newspapers, magazines, local and foreign, television programs, bulletins, and media consultants who assist and facilitate our work. I had about 23 staff, 11 were graduates out of which 5 were Masters degrees holders. Details were submitted to EFCC
3. The second N50m was approved again by Mr President when I reported to him that the monthly allowance has been cut from N10m to N5m and that I was no longer in a position to keep running a 1hr NTA network program called INSIGHT which was aired 9-10am every Friday and some other days of the week. We paid NTA about N1.2m monthly for airtime. Two presenters were paid N600,000 monthly. We paid for tapes and Editing per program. Besides we also pay honorarium for guests either directly or inform of hotel bills for those outside Abuja, or transportation. This cost averagely N500,000 weekly or about N 2m monthly. All in all we spent about N4m monthly on the program. Mr President promised to help with the expenses. About a few months later when we had incurred some debts, the NSA sent me a sum of N50m which was to cover the cost of the programme for 12 months (12×N4m=N48m)
The Newspaper Trial
I saw strange figures like N162m fraud, N85m fraud in the Media. Also mention was made of some alleged dubious payments of N13m and N65m from contracts supposedly obtained from chachanga LGA in Niger state.
The Fact however is that my company Romix soilfix was one of the over 20 construction companies who were duly awarded contracts for rural roads some 5yrs ago by the Niger state govt. Due to lack of funds, contractors were paid irregularly thus making the job to drag on for long. The job is still on going. The relationship of this to my service as Senior Special assistant to President is still not clear.
My Health status.
I confided in the officers of the commission about my health situation for them to understand why where and how I sleep was important to my overall well being.
Without clearance or authorization by me, this information was revealed to the media. I woke up to hear it on radio broadcast nationwide and was published in many newspapers. This is a sad development and a definite breach of the confidence I reposed on the commission as an institution of government.
I was born with sinus bradycadia, a non disease based slowness of the heart. It precluded me from vigorous exercise from childhood but I have by God’s Grace been able to live a normal and active life. With age the slowness grew worse and life threatening. I sought medical help and went through a procedure at the Arrhythmia cardiac Research center in Atlanta, where this defect was corrected. Its just a year ago and I am still under satellite monitor from the USA. This is what I revealed to the EFCC and they made it a public issue.
I have been in public service in more than 20 years. Because of my pedigree, I have by deliberate policy avoided anything that will bring shame to me and my family.
In spite of my high level involvement in politics and government, I have never done directly or indirectly any federal government contracts. In the whole of this world, I have only two houses. One in Lagos and another in my home town. I have no house elsewhere including Abuja.
It is a pity that the situation in the country is so bad that everybody believes that there are no men with honour in politics or government. It is not true. I have submitted all my personal and company accounts to the EFCC. I have nothing to hide.
I am proud of who I am and how far the Lord has taken me. My present travails and trial will become a good testimony for me and my family in Jesus Name.
Dr Doyin Okupe
Former Senior Special Assistant to the President on Public Affairs ( 2012-2015).