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Meet Hon Dominic Okafor, Who Was Accused of Taking $140M Bribe from Binance

Last updated on May 15th, 2024 at 03:41 am

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The bribery allegation by Binance CEO Richard Teng against some members of Nigeria’s House of Representatives is getting ‘interesting’, yet embarrassing, by the day.

On Thursday, May 9, 2024, a Public Affairs analyst, Kayode Ogundamisi, revealed that Honourable Dominic Ifeanyichukwu Okafor was the lawmaker who demanded millions of dollars in bribes from the cryptocurrency firm. As alleged, the bribe was to ‘assist’ in scuttling punishable offences levelled against two executives of the crypto trading firm.

Lawmaker Mazi Dominic Okafor named as the Nigerian official who demanded bribe from Binance

It remains an allegation, but it is not the first time Nigerian lawmakers have asked for a bribe to cover atrocities committed by individuals and organizations they were to investigate; the case of Femi Otedola vs Hon Farouk Lawan is an example.

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But who is Dominic Okafor?

Honourable Dominic Okafor is a first-term member of the House of Representatives in the 10th National Assembly.

He represents the Aguata Federal Constituency of Anambra State on the platform of the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA).

Background to the bribery allegation

Mr Richard, in a post on Tuesday, confidently stated that the House Committee on Financial Crimes of the House of Reps, led by Ginger Onwusibe, demanded money from representatives of Binance during a meeting at the National Assembly Complex in January.

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Mr Ginger is a member of the Labour Party and represents the Isiala Ngwa South/Isiala Ngwa North federal constituency of Abia State.

The Binance boss was not specific in his bribery allegation, which culminated in the Minister of Information and National Orientation, Mohammed Idris, describing it as a diversionary strategy to run away from their wrongdoings.

Denial of bribery

Hon Dominic Okafor, who is believed to be a member of the Committee would later be quoted as saying:

“We have never invited this person before. This House have never had a meeting with this person before. And this person woke up one morning and decided to accuse this House of demanding a bribe from them. This house can never allow itself to be embarrased or talked down on in any way.”

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Promise to make the 10th Assembly a game-changer

Born on June 10, 1967, Hon Okafor had on May 11, 2023, promised that the 10th National Assembly “is going to be a game changer,” during10th NASS Induction Programme at the International Conference Centre in Abuja

He was quoted as saying, “ Nigerians are looking forward to us. Nigerians expect so much from us.”

Okafor was a successful businessman who told newsmen at the time that he left his comfort zone as a business executive to join politics because of his passion for serving his people.

An attempt to damage my longstanding reputation – Okafor reacts

Meanwhile, the Anambra federal lawmaker has described the report of accepting $140 million in bribes from Mr Nadeem Anjarwalla as a plan by some online platforms to tarnish his image.

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Denouncing the report during a press conference in Abuja, Okafor said he personally initiated a motion on the House floor to unravel the circumstances surrounding the escape of the Binance executive from where he was being held.

Okafor, who vowed to take legal action against the report’s publisher, said he would not let anyone soil his over 25 years of integrity in the business space.

“Shortly after I moved that motion, which was well received and a lot of people were calling to commend me, I started getting calls from my friends all over the world saying I collected bribes from this very company.

“I did a letter to them, which I copied the Speaker, Deputy Speaker, Clerk, Inspector General of Police, Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) and the Department of Security Service (DSS)

“I asked them to retrieve the information within 24 hours if not I will take legal action against them. I am here to exonerate myself from such accusations aimed at tarnishing my image, which I have earned over the years.”

No lawmaker receives a bribe from Binance – Committee Chair

The House of Representatives Committee on Financial Crimes, Hon.Ginger Obinna Onwusibe, described the publication in which committee members approached Binance for a bribe as untrue.

He spoke on Tuesday, May 14, 2024, in Abuja, as controversy continues to trail the alleged $140 million bribe after an investigative online news platform published it.

He said that the publication triggered public outrage against the federal lawmakers, asserting that all their dealings were open.

While admitting that three members of the House Committee met with the Binance executives, where they highlighted the critical issues, he said it is damaging for any platform to allege that somebody took a bribe from the cryptocurrency platform.

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