- Court adjourns hearing to 28 and 29 April
Alex Enumah in Abuja
The trial of former Chairman of Daar Communications Plc, Chief Raymond Dokpesi, over his involvement in the alleged S2.1billion for the procurement of arms to fight Boko Haram was yesterday stalled by what the defence described as illegibility of certain pages of some documents presented by the prosecution as parts of evidences in prosecuting the case.
Dokpesi 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 (PDP) presidential media campaign.
According to the EFCC, the funds were 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 Limited account owned by DAAR Investment and Holding Company Limited.
When the matter came up for hearing before Justice John Tsoho of a Federal High Court sitting in Abuja, Chief Wole Olanipekun (SAN), lead counsel to Dokpesi who told the court that the defence was fully prepared for the trial however, observed that due to their inability to read some of the contents of a document they just got supporting the case of the prosecution, it would be difficult to proceed with the trial.
Earlier, he had told the court how they made efforts to get a copy of additional proof of evidence/statement of witness submitted by the prosecution.
He admitted that prosecution counsel, Rotimi Jacobs had on February 17, 2016 informed him that he had filed additional proof of evidence but, quickly added that he was not duly served.
While stating that the prosecution should put his house in order, the defence counsel urged the court to direct the prosecution to put into clear and readable form the additional proof of evidence as well as the original so that all parties in the case would be on the same page.
Responding, prosecution counsel, Jacobs claimed that the defence was served on February 24, 2016.
He said the lead counsel did not give address for service hence it was served on one of the lead counsel.
“It is professional and right to serve one of the lead counsel,” he said, disclosing that the notice was served on the former Attorney General of the Federation, Kanu Agabi, SAN, who is one of the defence team.
He went further to say that if the defense was having difficulty in reading the handwriting of a witness it should not be a ground for the defence to request for production of a fresh document.
Jacobs however consented to the demand of the defence and promised to make available clearer copies to the defence.
Consequently, Justice Tsoho in his ruling, said in view of the concession reached by counsel, the matter wa adjourned till 28 and 29 of April, 2016