FG Re-arraigns Dokpesi on Amended Charges

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Alex Enumah in Abuja

The federal government wednesday re-arraigned the former Chairman of DAAR Communications Plc, Chief Raymond Aleogho Dokpesi, before the Federal High Court in Abuja on an amended seven-count criminal charge.

Dokpesi who was re-arraigned by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), is being accused of procurement fraud and breach of public trust.

Dopkesi who pleaded not guilty to the charges, had earlier been arraigned on a six count charge bordering on allegations of money laundering to the tune of N2.1billion.

He was accused of collecting the said amount, being diversion of funds for the procurement of arms to fight Boko Haram, from the office of the former National Security Adviser (NSA), Col Sambo Dasuki (rtd).

In the amended charge dated May 9, 2018 and signed by the Director, Legal and Prosecution Department of the EFCC, Chile Okoroma, Dokpesi was alleged to have, between January 22, 2015 and March 18, 2015 directly took control of an aggregate sum of N2,120,000,000, paid into the account of DAAR Investment and Holding Company Limited with First Bank of Nigeria Plc, from the account of the Office of the National Security Adviser (ONSA) with the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN)

In count five of the charge, Dokpesi was accused to have, between October 2014 and March 2015 conducted procurement fraud by fraudulently receiving N2.1bn into the account of DAAR Investment and Holding Company for the funding of media activities for the 2015 presidential election campaign of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).

The alleged offence, EFCC said is contrary to section 58 (4) (b) of the Public Procurement Act 2007 and punishable under section 58 (6) and 7 of the same Act.

Following his plea of not guilty, the prosecution counsel, Oluwaleke Atolagbe, called on the 13th prosecution witness, one Ayobami Oluwarinu, an architect to give his testimony.

According to the witness, his two companies, Archisynthesis and Wood Country Investment Limited were paid a total sum of N68.190m for the designed, construction and renovation works done for DAAR Communication Plc and Chief Dokpesi in Abuja, Edo and some states in the federation.

He said the money was paid into the bank accounts of his two companies, specifically for design and construction works.

He listed the Abuja studio located in Kpaduma Hills, Asokoro, Benin studio, Dokpesi residence in his home t
own, Agenebode as some of the projects he worked on.

Under cross-examination by counsel to Dokpesi, Kanu Agabi (SAN), the witness who said he wrote a statement at the EFCC office in Abuja on Monday in respect of his transaction with Dokpesi added that, there was no contract agreement in his transaction with Dokpesi as they were all done in trust.

At the end of cross-examination of the witness, Justice John Tsoho, adjourned the matter till May 28, 2018 for continuation of trial.