‘EFCC Should Resist Political Manipulation,’ Atiku Reacts To Acquittal Of Dokpesi

INEC Denying Atiku Access To Election Materials Despite Court Order, Says PDP
Ex-Vice President Atiku Abubakar, speaks at the International Conference Centre in Abuja on February 13, 2019.

 

Former Vice President of Nigeria, Atiku Abubakar, has asked the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) to resist what he described as political manipulation.

Atiku’s call is in response to the acquittal of a chieftain of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Raymond Dokpesi, by the Federal Court of Appeal in Abuja.

Dokpesi was prosecuted by the EFCC in connection with the alleged ₦ 2.1 billion money laundering charges brought against him over the arms contracts under former National Security Adviser, Sambo Dasuki.

The court, however, quashed the charges on Thursday in a unanimous judgment of a three-man panel of judges led by Justice Williams-Daudu.

But Atiku in a statement he personally signed on Friday expressed his joy and solidarity over the incident, saying he was elated with the outcome of the trial.

The ex-Vice President said the court judgement “revealed the truth about the lopsided nature of the anti-corruption policy of the Buhari administration.”

READ ALSO: Appeal Court Quashes N2.1bn Money Laundering Charges Against Dokpesi

According to him, “the entire anti-corruption trials appear to be focused on opposition politicians, thereby casting doubts on the credibility of the anti-graft agency.”

He recalled that during the 2019 presidential election, the EFCC focused its time and resources on harassing and arraigning aides of opposition politicians, lamenting that it was indifferent to how members of the ruling party were financing their campaigns.

The former PDP presidential candidate noted that even members of the international community are now coming to terms with the reality that the anti-corruption crusade is not impartial, and that the government is now using the anti-corruption policy to contrive charges against those they want to use to advance certain political objectives.

While noting that he was impressed with the appointment of Abdul Rasheed Bawa as EFCC chairman, Atiku asked him to learn from the mistakes of his predecessors.

“As a young man of great intellect and confidence, I’m confident that you are up to the task. You must be ready to restore the glory of the EFCC by changing its public perception as a political tool of the government in power,” he stated.

“Let your conscience and history judge you. But you can only do so if you resist external manipulation. May Allah guide you aright.”

Appeal Court Quashes N2.1bn Money Laundering Charges Against Dokpesi

A file photo of the founder of Daar Communications, Mr Raymond Dokpesi.

 

A Court of Appeal in Abuja has quashed the money laundering charges to the tune of N2.1 billion filed against the founder of Daar Communications, Mr Raymond Dokpesi.

The charges were filed against Dokpesi and his company by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).

The court, however, quashed the charges on Thursday in a unanimous judgment of a three-man panel of judges led by Justice Williams-Daudu

It held that the anti-graft agency failed to establish a prima facie case against Dokpesi and Daar Communications to warrant him entering a defence.

The appellate court added that the predicate case upon which the EFCC based its seven charges against Dokpesi has yet to be proven.

It, therefore, set aside the judgment delivered by Justice John Tsoho of the Federal High Court.

The trial court had asked Dokpesi to open his defence after dismissing the no-case submission argued by the defendant.

On November 21, 2018, Justice Tsoho had struck out the no-case submission filed by Dokpesi and his company, saying they had a case to answer.

He stated that the defendants must explain the N2.1 billion they allegedly received from the office of the National Security Adviser in 2015.

The trial judge who relied on a judgement of the Supreme Court in a similar case involving a former National Publicity Secretary of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Olisa Metuh, held that the prosecution had established a prima facie case warranting the defendants to explain their own side of the story.

He had fixed February 2019 for Dokpesi and his company to open their defence.

Dokpesi: EFCC Laments Delay In Trial As Case Is Adjourned Till May 24

dokpesi

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission on Tuesday, March 23, 2021 bemoaned the delay in the corruption trial of Chief Raymond Dokpesi, founder of Daar Communications Plc.

Dokpesi is being prosecuted before John Tsoho of the Federal High Court, Abuja for the alleged diversion of N2.1 billion received from the office of former National Security Adviser, Sambo Dasuki.

At the resumed trial on Tuesday March, proceedings were stalled after Chika Odoemene, holding the brief of defense asked for an adjournment on the ground that their supreme witness was currently on admission in a the hospital, which makes it impossible to continue their defense,

In response, prosecuting Counsel Rotimi Jacobs, SAN called the Court’s attention to what he called, deliberate tricks by the defense to delay the trial.

He reminded the Court that the prosecution filed this matter since 2016, after which 14 witnesses had been called to testify. He said the defendant didn’t open his defense until January 21, 2020, after his no-case submission was rejected by Court.

The learned silk reminded the court that the “first defendant is still in the witness box, with evidence he started in 2020, which he has not concluded.

“My lord, the last adjourned date, which was December 8, 2020, the defense prayed for a long adjourned date because of their supreme witness and my lord granted four months.

“My understanding of the provision of the law is that, until the defendant concludes his evidence-in-chief and cross examination, no other witness can be called by him”.

Jacobs also added that six senior advocates have so far appeared for the defendant in this matter. “And five years after, he is still testifying; my lord the delay is enormous”, he lamented.

Justice Tsoho acknowledged the concern of the prosecution and asked the defense to conclude the testimony of the first defendant on the next adjourned date before making excuses for a witness who is yet to appear.

He adjourned the trial till May 24 and 25, 2021.

Alleged N2.1bn Fraud: You Have A Case To Answer, Court Tells Dokpesi

Dokpesi
Raymond Dokpesi

 

The Federal High Court sitting in Abuja has struck out the no-case submission filed by Raymond Dokpesi, and his DAAR investment and holdings company limited, ruling that he has a case to answer.

The court insisted that Dokpesi and his company must explain the N2.1billion allegedly received from the office of the National Security Adviser in 2015.

At the resumed trial in Abuja on Wednesday, Justice John Tsoho ruled that the defendants, who are the founder and the parent company of African Independent Television (AIT) and Ray Power Radio, had a case to answer in respect of the money laundering and procurement fraud charges preferred against them.

READ ALSO: NEMA DG Replies Reps, Denies Allegations Of N33billion Funds Mismanagement

Relying on the Supreme Court’s decision in a similar case involving a Former National Publicity Secretary of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Olisa Metuh, Justice Tsoho held that the prosecution has established a prima facie case warranting the defendants to explain their own side of the story.

Justice Tsoho thereafter fixed February 20 and 21 2019 for Dokpesi and his firm to open their defence.

Raymond Dokpesi Calls PDP Convention ‘A Charade’

Founder of Daar Communications, Raymond Dokpesi, has expressed disappointment over the emergence of a list called the ‘Unity List’ in the National Chairmanship Convention of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).

The list, a copy of which was obtained by Channels Television on Saturday, contained the names of purported ‘unity candidates’ identified for delegates to vote, a development which Dokpesi and another contestant, Professor Tunde Adeniran said amounted to rigging.

Speaking to reporters at the Eagles Square in Abuja on Saturday, Mr Dokpesi also alleged that the names on the list were those who won various seats in the party’s leadership structure.

“Our attention has just been drawn to an impunity and illegality that has been going on since we started voting about three hours ago.

“Apparently, every delegate that is available a copy of what you can find here, they call it the Unity List (raises copy of ‘Unity List’), which bear the same thing and all the names that are here are number 1 on all the cubicles for voting and this is supposed to be the list prepared by the governors.

“Our agents have been very disturbed. Everybody has come out to vote, has this list.”

Read Also: Adeniran Walks Out Of PDP Convention, Rejects Electoral Process

He, however, noted that although he was not angered by the situation, he just wanted the press as well as observers to see that the process was not free and fair as claimed.

According to him, he had reported the case to the Chairman of the electoral committee, Mr Gabriel Suswam, as well as the chairman of the planning committee Governor Ifeanyi Okowa, but both seemed equally overwhelmed by the situation.

“I have personally approached governor Suswan who is involved in the management of this electoral process and he told me that he was taking necessary steps and that he personally even collected this Unity List from a governor.

“I approached governor Okowa who is chairman of the planning committee – he too is helpless so the names you have here is not unlikely to be what you will find announced later today.

“But unfortunately I am not pained, I am not angered, but the younger ones that are involved have come up with cries to me and I must take an appropriate step.

“Distinguished ladies and men of the press, the purpose of just drawing your attention and showing you this – collected from various delegates is to show very clearly that the process that is going on is very seriously marred,” Dokpesi stressed.

Dokpesi Makes U-Turn, Congratulates Secondus

One of the contestants for the position of the national chairmanship of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Dr. Raymond Dokpesi, has congratulated the winner of the election, Mr Uche Secondus.

Dokpesi had initially on Saturday, protested the distribution of a ‘Unity List’ to the delegates at the Eagles Square, Abuja where the convention took place, on Saturday night.

Speaking to reporters, the Daar Communications boss also alleged that the names on the list were those who won various seats in the party’s leadership structure.

Read Also: Raymond Dokpesi Calls PDP Convention ‘A Charade’ 

“Our attention has just been drawn to an impunity and illegality that has been going on since we started voting about three hours ago.

“Apparently, every delegate that is available a copy of what you can find here, they call it the Unity List (raises copy of ‘Unity List’), which bear the same thing and all the names that are here are number 1 on all the cubicles for voting and this is supposed to be the list prepared by the governors.

“Our agents have been very disturbed. Everybody has come out to vote, has this list.”

He, however, noted that although he was not angered by the situation, he just wanted the press, as well as observers, to see that the process was not free and fair as claimed.

According to him, he had reported the case to the Chairman of the electoral committee, Mr Gabriel Suswam, as well as the chairman of the planning committee Governor Ifeanyi Okowa, but both seemed equally overwhelmed by the situation.

“I have personally approached governor Suswan who is involved in the management of this electoral process and he told me that he was taking necessary steps and that he personally even collected this Unity List from a governor.

“I approached governor Okowa who is chairman of the planning committee – he too is helpless so the names you have here is not unlikely to be what you will find announced later today.

“But unfortunately I am not pained, I am not angered, but the younger ones that are involved have come up with cries to me and I must take an appropriate step.

“Distinguished ladies and men of the press, the purpose of just drawing your attention and showing you this – collected from various delegates is to show very clearly that the process that is going on is very seriously marred,” Dokpesi stressed.

Read Also: Adeniran Walks Out Of PDP Convention, Rejects Electoral Process

On Sunday morning, however, hours after Secondus was eventually declared winner, Dokpesi in a statement, said that the delegates had spoken and he thanked all those who participated.

“I write to thank you (delegates) most wholeheartedly for voting at the just concluded Elective National Convention in Abuja.

“The delegates have spoken. I congratulate the newly elected Prince Uche Secondus led National Working Committee.

“You will recall that I said that the PDP must be the ultimate winner at the end of the contest. God bless the Peoples Democratic Party. Congratulations PDP as I wish all our members the best of luck,” he wrote.

Fayose Hails John Momoh’s Emergence As BON Chairman

Fayose, John MomohGovernor of Ekiti State, Mr Ayodele Fayose, has hailed the election of Chairman/CEO of Channels Media Group, Mr John Momoh, as the Chairman of the Broadcasting Organisations of Nigeria (BON).

He extolled Mr Momoh’s virtues as an ace broadcaster and veteran journalist whose hard work and expertise as a media entrepreneur has earned him several deserving awards.

He highlighted his national award as an Officer of the Order of the Niger (OON), his 2014 Planet Africa Awards for Excellence in Leadership among others, as well deserved honour.

Mr Fayose believes that broadcasting in Nigeria is set on a dynamic and prosperous course with Mr Momoh now in the saddle.

John Momoh
Chairman/CEO of Channels Media Group, Mr John Momoh

“It is heartwarming to commend Mr John Momoh for emerging the first professional and private television entrepreneur to become the chairman of the BON.

“Mr. Momoh is a core professional who has practised his trade in broadcasting with sound judgment and strict adherence to its ethical tenets.

“He has brought his professionalism to bear on the management of the Channels Television which has since emerged as a leading broadcasting station in the country as well as a multiple award winning 24-hour news television channel.

“Momoh is widely recognized in Nigeria as a transformative industry pioneer with his 37-year-long career in news television broadcasting.

“Little wonder he was included in a new book by veteran journalists and ex-helmsmen of The Daily Sun newspapers, Mike Awoyinfa and Dimgba Igwe, titled ‘50 WORLD EDITORS — Conversations with Journalism Masters on Trends and Best Practices’, where his success story and that of Channels TV is chronicled as a chapter.

“While I wish him a great time as BON helmsman, I want to urge him to continue to adhere to the ethical tenets guiding the trade and also protect the sanctity of the noble profession,” Governor Fayose said in a statement by his Chief Press Secretary, Idowu Adelusi.

Mr John Momoh was elected as Chairman of the Broadcasting Organisations of Nigeria (BON) at the annual delegate conference on Wednesday, July 27, 2016 in Abuja.

He polled 51 votes to defeat his opponent, Mr Abbas Dalhatu from Freedom Radio, Kano who scored 12 votes.

This is the first time a private television media owner would be holding this position.

Alleged Fraud: Dokpesi’s Trial Stalled

dokpesiThe trial of the former Chairman of DAAR Communications PLC, Raymond Dokpesi, stalled on Wednesday after defence counsel made a complaint.

At the resumed trial at the Federal High Court in Abuja on Wednesday, the defence team led by Mr Wole Olanipekun, argued against the commencement of the trial on the ground that the proof of evidence supplied by the prosecutor was not readable.

The prosecutor, Mr Rotimi Jacobs, countered the argument of Mr Olanipekun saying that since he came into the case, he had not provided the address of his chambers for the service of documents.

He, however, informed the court that he would make a clean and clear copy of the proof of evidence available to the defence team before the next adjourned date.

Justice John Tsoho subsequently adjourned the case to March 28 and 29.

Mr Dokpesi is standing trial on a six-count charge of money laundering and other charges relating to procurement fraud.

Court Orders EFCC To Produce Dokpesi

dokpesiA Federal High Court sitting in Abuja has ordered the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission ( EFCC) to produce the Chairman of DAAR Communications Plc, Raymond Dokpesi.

The court ordered the EFFC on Friday to produce Mr Dokpesi in court on December 14, 2015 and show cause why he should not be granted conditional or unconditional bail by the court.

Mr Dokpesi is currently being detained by the EFCC over allegations of money laundering involving 2.1 billion Naira.

Justice Kolawole, while ruling on an exparte motion argued by Mr Mike Ozekhome (SAN), ordered that the EFCC should be put on notice and appear on December 14 with the detained former boss of DAAR Communications.

In the exparte application filed on December 3, Ozekhome prayed the court for an order to compel EFCC to produce Dokpesi, who is presently in its custody.

He also prayed the court for an order admitting Dokpesi to bail on self recognition or liberal terms pending his formal arraignment by the anti-graft agency.

Mr Dokpesi was on December 1, invited and detained by the anti-graft agency in connection with money disbursed from the office of the former National Security Adviser (NSA), Colonel Sambo Dasuki (rtd).

FG Files Fresh Application, Dasuki Denies Implicating Anyone

dasuki

The trial of the former National Security Adviser, Colonel Sambo‎ Dasuki has again been stalled following the filing of a fresh application by the federal government seeking to stop the execution of the bail granted to the accused person on November 3, 2015.

At the resumed hearing, lawyer to the federal government, Mr Oladipo Okpeseyitan said that he had just been briefed to handle the case through a fiat of the Attorney General of the Federation authorizing him to take over the prosecution of the case.

He also told the court that he has filed a new application seeking to stay the execution or further execution of the order of the court delivered on November 3, 2015.

He added that the ‎federal government was not in disobedience of the order of the court granting bail to the accused person.

Lawyer ‎to the accused person, Mr Ahmed Raji, however, objected to the hearing of the application saying it was not ripe for hearing.

He told the court that he had just been served with the motion in court, adding that he needed time to respond to the motion.

Justice Adeniyi Ademola subsequently adjourned the case till December 8.

Dasuki Denies Implicating Anyone

Meanwhile, the former National Security Adviser (NSA), Col. Sambo Dasuki (rtd), has denied implicating anyone or group during interrogation on the allegation of $2billion arms purchase deal brought against him by the Federal Government.

Dasuki’s lawyer, Mr Ahmed Raji, a senior advocate said that his client never made such statement or name anyone to EFCC. He wondered ‎where the authors got their information from.

“I was with Dasuki yesterday and wish to make a categorical statement that my client never made any statement of such nature or naming anybody or group in any statement.

“Quote me anywhere, Dasuki has not done anything like that. It is absolutely untrue. It is the figment of the imagination of the authors aimed at creating falsehood for reasons best known to them and Nigerians should disregard them.

“They are just out to scandalise the man, bring his image and character into disrepute so that his friends and well-wishers can run away from him. They want him deserted and that will fail,” Raji said.

 

 

EFCC Arrests Former Daar Communications Chairman, Raymond Dokpesi

dokpesiThe Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, says it has arrested the former Chairman of Daar Communications, Chief Raymond Dokpesi.

He was picked up in Abuja at about noon on Tuesday and was accompanied to the office of the EFCC by his son Raymond Dokpesi Jnr., who is the current Chairman of Daar Communications.

The Head of Media in the EFCC, Wilson Uwujaren, told Channels Television that Chief Dokpesi was arrested in connection with money disbursed from the office of the former National Security Adviser, Sambo Dasuki.

He said that there was no explanation about what the money was meant for and it was pathetic that the office of the NSA was used as “a warehouse to dish out money to people”.

He added that very worrisome is that this hard-earned money is taken from the coffers of the country.

When contacted, Mr Mike Ozekhome (SAN), lawyer to Dokpesi said that it is a return to authoritarian regime as only last week Daar Communications Holdings, not Dokpesi, was invited by the EFCC to explain alleged contracts to the company from the office of the former National Security Adviser and that tax payments and other documents should be supplied to EFCC.

He said that as far he knew, no contract was gotten from the office of the NSA but that he sent a lawyer from his chamber, Barrister Justine Omogbemeh to accompany Dokpesi to the EFCC office.

“I do not regard this as an arrest. If you are invited by the EFCC that is not the same thing as an arrest. We got this information through a mere phone call. There is no warrant of arrest and as a well-respected obedient nationalist, Chief Dokpesi decided to go and answer the invitation,” he said.