© 2019 - International Centre for Investigative Reporting
Court strikes out Dokpesi’s no-case submission, asks him to open defence
THE Abuja Federal High Court has dismissed the no-case submission filed by Raymond Dokpesi, founder and emeritus Chairman of DAAR Communications Plc, in the ongoing corruption trial against him.
The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) made this known via it’s Twitter handle on Wednesday.
“Justice John Tsoho of a Federal High Court Abuja rules that Chief Raymond Dokpesi, founder of DAAR Communications Plc, has a case to answer in the alleged N2.1bn fraud case brought against him by the EFCC,” the tweet reads.
Dokpesi is alleged to have received the N2.1 billion naira from the office of the National Security Adviser in 2015, then headed by Sambo Dasuki, who is currently in the custody of the Department of the State Services (DSS).
The EFCC said the money was part of the $2.1 billion meant for the purchase of arms for the Nigerian Armed Forces but which was diverted during the run-up to the 2015 general election, adding that Dokpesi ought to have known that the monies he received from Sambo were proceeds of a corrupt activity.
The Commission had closed its case against Dokpesi in May this year, after calling a total of 14 witnesses and tendering several exhibits, but the accused person, through his counsel, Kanu Agabi, filed a no-case submission, saying that the witnesses and exhibits presented by the prosecution were not enough to establish a prima facie evidence against him.
But at the resumption of trial on Wednesday, Justice John Tsoho ruled that a prima facie evidence has been established and that Dokpesi has a case to answer.
One of the prosecution witnesses had told the court that monies were wired directly from the account of the NSA domiciled in the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to accounts belonging to DAAR Communications in several instalments of N500 million, N620 million, N113million, among others.
Of those amounts, N68 million was used to construct Dokpesi’s house in his hometown, Agenebode, Edo State.
The case was adjourned to February 20 and 21, 2019, for Dokpesi to open his defence.