Alleged N2.1bn Fraud: FG Re-arraigns Dokpesi on 7 Count Amended Charges

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The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), on Wednesday re-arraigned former Chairman of DAAR Communications Plc, Chief Raymond Aleogho Dokpesi, before the Federal High Court, Abuja on an amended 7 count criminal charge.

Dokpesi,, is being accused of procurement fraud and breach of public trust.

While pleading not guilty to the charges, Dokpesi, had earlier been arraigned on a six count charge, bordering on allegations of money laundering to the tune of N2.1bn.

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 Wednesday May 9, 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.

“Which sum you reasonably ought to have known to be a proceed of an unlawful act of Col. Mohammed Sambo Dasuki (rtd), the then National Security Adviser (NSA) to wit, criminal breach of trust and you thereby committed an offence contrary to Section 15 (2) of the Money Laundering (Prohibition) Act 2011 (as amended) and punishable under Section 15 (2) and (4) of the same Act”, the charge reads in part.

The former Chairman of DAAR Communications  was also 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, according to EFCC 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.

Count six of the charge reads, “That you Dr. Raymond Dokpesi and DAAR Investment and Holding Company Limited between October 2014 and 19 March, 2015 in Abuja, conducted procurement fraud by means of fraudulent and corrupt act, to wit: receipt of payment into the account of DAAR Investment and Holding Company Limited with First Bank of Nigeria Plc. of public funds in the sum of N2,120,000,000 from the account of the office of National Security Adviser (NSA) with the Central Bank of Nigeria for the funding of media activities for the 2015 presidential election campaign for the People Democratic Party (PDP) and you thereby committed an offence contrary to section 58 (4) (b) of the Public Procurement Act, 2007 and punishable under Section 58 (6) & (7) of the same Act.

“That you Dr. Raymond Dokpesi and Daar Investment and Holding Company Limited between October 2014 and 19 March, 2015 in Abuja, entered into a purported contract on presidential media initiative and received payment in the sum of N2,1 billion into the account of Daar Investment and Holding Company Limited with First Bank of Nigeria Plc. from the account of the office of National Security Adviser (NSA) with the Central Bank of Nigeria on account of the purported contract without a “Certificate of “No Objection to Contract Award” duly issued by Public Procurement Bureau and you thereby committed an offence contrary to section 16 (1) (b), (4) & (5) of the Public Procurement Act, 2007 and punishable under Section 58 (6) of the same Act.

“That you Dr. Raymond Dokpesi and Daar Investment and Holding Company Limited between 22 January and 19 March, 2015 in Abuja, knew that an aggregate sum of N2,120,000,000 directly represented the proceeds of criminal conduct of Col. Mohammed Sambo Dasuki (rtd) and Shuaibu Salisu who were National Security Adviser and the Director of Finance, Office of the National Security Adviser (NSA) respectively to wit: criminal breach of trust in respect of the said amount, used the said property and you thereby committed an offence punishable under Section 17 (b) of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (Establishment) Act, 2004”.

Following his plea of not guilty, the prosecution counsel, Oluwaleke Atolagbe, called on the 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 was paid a total sum of N68. 190m for 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 town, 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

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