Alleged N2.1bn fraud: EFCC re-arraigns Dokpesi.
The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, today, re-arraigned the Chairman emeritus of DAAR Communications Plc, High Chief Raymond Dokpesi, before the Federal High Court sitting in Abuja.
Dokpesi who was initially docked before the court on December 9, 2015, is facing a six-count criminal charge. He was alleged to have received about N2.1billion from the office of the National Security Adviser, NSA, for Peoples Democratic Party’s presidential media campaign. According to the charge which was signed by the Deputy Director, Legal and Prosecution at the EFCC, Mr. Aliyu Yusuf, the fund was released to the accused person by the erstwhile NSA, Col. Sambo Dasuki, rtd, between October 2014 and March 19, 2015.
The funds were allegedly transferred from an account the office of NSA operated with the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, to a FirstBank of Nigeria Plc account owned by DAAR Investment and Holding Company Limited The prosecution maintained that the transaction was in breach of section 58 (4) (b) of the Public Procurement Act 2007 and punishable under section 58 (6) and 7 of the same Act, as well as under section 17 (b) of the EFCC Act, 2004. EFCC equally joined Dokpesi’s firm, DAAR Investment and Holdings Ltd, owners of African Independent Television, AIT, and Raypower FM, as the 2nd defendant in the suit. Meantime, even though trial Justice Gabriel Kolawole originally fixed the matter for trial today, at the resumed sitting, EFCC, took Dokpesi before another Judge for re-arraignment. Though no reason was given why the case-file was retrieved from Justice Kolawole, Dokpesi, entered a fresh plea before Justice John Tsoho of the same court, who subsequently adjourned the case till March 2 for trial. The court however allowed the accused person to go home on the same bail conditions that were handed to him by Justice Kolawole.
It will be recalled that the court had on December 19, ordered Dokpesi to produce two persons that will stand surety for him. Justice Kolawole directed that the two sureties must deposit N200m each, stressing that one of the sureties must be a public servant, either serving or retired, not below the level of a Director. The trial Judge held that in the event that the surety is a serving Director, the person must produce an identification letter from his or her boss. It further held that if such surety is retired, the person must produce a gazetted document depicting that he or she was formerly a Director. Besides, the court said the second surety could be an entrepreneur, who it said must submit three years tax clearance, including that of 2015. Justice Kolawole ordered that either of the two sureties must tender the title deed of a landed property in any part of Nigeria, the value of which must not be below N200milion. According to the court, the sureties, must also depose to an affidavit of means, submit two recent passport photographs to the Deputy Chief Registrar, DCR, Administration, of the high court. Dokpesi was further directed to surrender his international passport