Dr Doyin Okupe
The Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) has cautioned the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) against any move to shield the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Public Affairs, Dr Doyin Okupe, from facing alleged corruption charges.
The party restated its earlier call on President Goodluck Jonathan to sack Okupe, claiming he is not a fit and proper person to hold the position given his alleged past.
In a statement issued in Ibadan on yesterday by its National Publicity Secretary, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, the party described as false and deliberately misleading a statement credited to the spokesman of the anti-graft agency, Mr Wilson Uwujaaren, that he is not aware that Okupe was under investigation.
“It is on record that Dr Doyin Okupe was in the custody of the EFCC in Lagos for almost one month between July and August 2006, on account of a contract he obtained this time from Imo State but which he failed to execute after collecting a hefty mobilisation fee,” it said.
ACN warned the EFCC and other relevant agencies especially the Presidency not to attempt to falsify and obliterate records in order to give Okupe a clean bill of health. It also alleged that Okupe’s fraudulent activities were not limited to Benue and Imo States alone and are too well documented for any cover up.
According to the party, all those who know how to bury dead bodies should remember those who also know how to exhume them.
The party reiterates its earlier position that retaining the presidential aide as the administration’s spokesman on Public Affairs is not just an insult to the collective integrity of all Nigerian but also flies in the face of the administration’s flaunted commitment to fighting corruption.
Meanwhile, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the South-west has described ACN’s call for Okupe’s sack as irresponsible and hypocritical.
PDP’s Zonal Publicity Secretary, Hon. Kayode Babade, said in a statement issued in Ibadan yesterday that “the ACN must first fumigate its own house to get rid of grossly corrupt elements in its fold before seeking to clean other peoples’ house.”
“As we have maintained before, a party of fraudsters, certificate forgers, ex-convicts, perjurers and money launderers like the ACN does not have the required moral standing to talk on corruption or any crime in Nigeria.”
It reminded the Presidency that the presidential spokesman is the face not only of the President but of Nigeria as a whole and that responsibility cannot rest on the shoulders of a person morally damaged.
“ Nigeria is definitely not in want of qualified individuals with talents and credentials for the position of a Senior Special Assistant on Public Affairs and retaining Okupe in this position in the face of incontrovertible evidence as to his unsuitability will only give credence to the widely held belief that this administration is a haven for persons with criminal pasts,” ACN added.