The Obi-Datti presidential campaign council will meet to decide whether to replace or keep its Director-General, Doyin Okupe, following his conviction on money laundering charges on Monday.
Speaking on Tuesday, the spokesperson of the campaign council, Yunusa Tanko, said a collective decision will be taken on the development.
“That is a decision that has to be made collectively. It is not an independent decision,” Tanko told our correspondent when asked about the DG’s fate, adding that the conviction of the Campaign Director-General has a political undertone.
Convicting him on Monday, Justice Ijeoma Ojukwu of the Federal High Court in Abuja held that Okupe contravened sections 16(1) and (2) of the Money Laundering Act by receiving cash payments (N204 million) in excess of the threshold statutorily allowed by the Act from the office of the former National Security Adviser (NSA), Sambo Dasuki.
But Tanko told this website that convicting Okupe while Sambo Dasuki and other conspirators in the alleged money laundering act are free, shows that the judgement has political colouration.
He added that the conviction will not affect Peter Obi’s campaign and the campaign council is not perturbed by it.
“It doesn’t have much adverse effect on us, you know the campaign isn’t about one person, it’s a collective issue. So, collectively we will make a decision and make a formal pronouncement.
“Our presidential candidate has a mantra of following the provisions of the law which democracy epitomizes, so we remain resolute and determined to do similar, so decisions will be made in no distant time to actually address this particular issue and it is our belief that the Nigerian people will remain dogged and determined to continue in the struggle of rescuing Nigeria.
“This is not a new thing we know that the conviction was a syndicated attack on our person (Okupe), because when you look at the judgement, those who were accused of giving the monies themselves are still in the system, they are still moving around, so you can’t put ‘something’ on ‘nothing’.
“Even Dasuki that is allegedly the giver is still free, he has not been convicted. But now they are convicting someone who is alleged to have collected money from Dasuki.
“We know that there is a political undertone to it, but we are not perturbed we will continue to mobilize and do what we believe is right for the Nigerian people,” Tanko said.
Asked if Okupe’s payment of the 13 million naira fine awarded by the court would cast aspersions on his innocence, Tanko said, “He still has a right of appeal (even after he has paid), go and check, but whether or not he is going to appeal is a personal decision that he has to make.”
He added that amid the controversies generated by the court judgement, the Obi-Datti campaign will continue with its rallies during the festive period.
“We are not pausing, we are going to campaign in Uyo, Calabar and Rivers State and possibly Bayelsa. Our campaign is not just about the election, we are celebrating with the people,” he added.