THE Economic and Financial Crimes Commission on Wednesday, February 17, re-arraigned Raymond Dokpesi, former chairman of DAAR Communications Plc, before a federal high court in Abuja on six counts of money laundering and other charges relating to procurement fraud.
The charges involve N2.1bn which he allegedly received from the Office of the National Security Adviser between October 2014 and March 19, 2015 to prosecute Peoples Democratic Party’s 2015 presidential media campaign.
The re-arraignment before James Tsoho, a judge of federal high court, followed the withdrawal of the case by Ibrahim Auta, chief judge of the federal high court, from Gabriel Kolawole, former trial judge.
Dokpesi and Daar Investment and Holdings Ltd, had earlier denied the charges when they were initially arraigned before Kolawole on December 9, 2015.
The judge granted Dokpesi bail in the sum of N200 million with two sureties in the same amount on December 14, 2015, and then fixed Wednesday, February 17, for commencement of trial.
However, the trial could not start as earlier scheduled as the case would have to start afresh as a result of the transfer of the case to Tsoho, the new trial judge.
Appearing before the new judge, on Wednesday, February 17, Dokpesi, whose defence team is now being led by Wole Olanipekun, SAN, again pleaded not guilty.
Rotimi Jacobs, SAN, who led the prosecution team, accused Dokepsi and Daar Investment and Holdings Ltd, of receiving, N2.1bn from the office of the National Security Adviser between October 2014 and March 19, 2015 for the PDP’s presidential media campaign in breach of provisions of the Public Procurement Act, Money Laundering (Prohibition) Act and the EFCC (Establishment) Act.
After taking his plea, Tsoho granted a request by Olanipekun, counsel to the accused, to allow Dokpesi on bail in the same terms and conditions earlier granted him by Kolawole.
The trial was adjourned until March 2 and 3.
— Feb 17, 2016 @ 13:25 GMT