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EFCC Charges Dokpesi With Money Laundering

First Bank Nigeria

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission has preferred six counts of money laundering and procurement-related charges involving N2.1bn against the former Chairman of DAAR Communications Plc, Chief Raymond Dokpesi.

The suit, containing the charges, numbered FHC/ABJ/CR/380/2015, was filed before a Federal High Court in Abuja on Tuesday.

Dokpesi and a subsidiary of Daar Communications, Daar Investment and Holding Limited, are the two defendants.

The charges arose from the N2.1bn the defendants allegedly collected from the Office of the former National Security Adviser, Col. Sambo Dasuki (retd.).

The EFCC had arrested Dokpesi following an investigation into the interim report of a presidential committee on the procurement of arms and equipment for the Armed Forces and the defence sector from 2007 to date.

Dokpesi had, however, in a statement, said the money he collected from the NSA’s office was meant for publicity and media campaigns during the 2015 general elections, describing it as a contractual transaction.

In the charges, sighted by our correspondent on Tuesday, the prosecution said Dokpesi and his company had, by the deal, violated the provisions of the EFCC Act, Public Procurement Act and Money Laundering (Prohibition) Act.

The case, as of the time of filing this report on Tuesday, had not been assigned to a judge but our correspondent learnt that the arraignment of the defendants might take place before the end of this week.

Justice Gabriel Kolawole of the same Federal High Court in Abuja had on December 4, asked the EFCC to produce Dokpesi in court on December 14.

The judge made the order in his ruling on an ex parte application filed by Dokpesi’s lawyer, Chief Mike Ozekhome (SAN).

The proceedings, during which the judge granted the order on Friday, held in the judge’s chambers and not in the open court.

Ozekhome, who informed journalists of the outcome of the proceedings, said the judge also ordered the EFCC to appear in court to show cause why he should not grant Dokpesi’s prayer for unconditional or conditional bail.

The senior advocate had argued that his client had been unlawfully detained by the EFCC beyond 48 hours.

Dokpesi, through his lawyer, had in the application, prayed for an order compelling the EFCC to produce him in its custody “or any other place of detention before this court on the date this application comes up for hearing”.

He also sought “an order admitting the applicant to bail on self recognition or on such favourable and liberal terms as this court may deem fit to make in the circumstances of this case, pending the formal arraignment of the applicant before a court of law.”

His prayers were anchored on the grounds that no charges had been formally instituted against him over 48 hours after his detention.

The applicant said he honoured a verbal invitation from officials of the EFCC on December 1 and had been detained since then after subjecting him to hours of “unprepared interrogation.”

He argued that the offences alleged against him “are ordinarily bailable.”

Source: Punch

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