Economic and Financial Crimes Commission,EFCC yesterday re-arraigned the former Chairman of DAAR Communications Plc, High Chief Raymond Dokpesi before a Federal High Court in Abuja on a six-count charge of money laundering related to the $2.1billion arms procurement fraud.
He allegedly received N2.1billion from the Office of the National Security Adviser between October 2014 and March 19, 2015 to prosecute Peoples Democratic Party, PDP’s 2015 presidential media campaign.
The re-arraignment followed the withdrawal of the case by the Chief Judge of the Federal High Court, Justice Ibrahim Auta from the former trial judge, Justice Gabriel Kolawole, and the subsequent transfer of the matter to Justice James Tsoho.
Dokpesi and his firm, DAAR Investment and Holdings Limited, had earlier denied the charges when they were initially arraigned before Justice Kolawole on December 9, 2015.
The judge had subsequently on December 14, 2015, granted bail to Dokpesi in the sum of N200million with two sureties in like sum and fixed yesterday for commencement of trial.
However, the trial could not begin as earlier scheduled due to the need for the matter to start afresh as a result of the transfer of the case to another judge.
Appearing before Justice Tsoho yesterday, Dokpesi, whose defence team is now being led by Chief Wole Olanipekun, SAN again denied the charges as he earlier did during his initial arraignment.
The prosecution, led by Mr. Rotimi Jacobs, SAN accused Dokepsi and DAAR Investment and Holdings Limited, of receiving, N2.1billion from the Office of the National Security Adviser between October 2014 and March 19, 2015 for the PDP presidential media campaign in breach of provisions of the Public Procurement Act, Money Laundering (Prohibition) Act and the EFCC (Establishment) Act.
Dokpesi rounded up his plea yesterday by responding, “absolutely, absolutely and absolutely not guilty” to the charges when read to him.
Justice Tsoho granted a request by the lead defence lawyer, Olanipekun, to allow Dokpesi bail in the same terms and conditions earlier granted him by Justice Kolawole.
The prosecution maintained that the transaction was in breach of section 58 (4) (b) of the Public Procurement Act 2007 and punishable under Section 58 (6) and (7) of the same Act, as well as under Section 17 (b) of the EFCC Act, 2004.
Some of the charges against him read:
“That you Dr. Raymond Dokpesi and Daar Investment and Holding Company Limited between October 2014 and March 19, 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 FirstBank 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 Peoples 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 March 19, 2015 in Abuja, entered into a purported contract on presidential media initiative and received payment in the sum of N2,120,000,000 into the account of Daar Investment and Holding Company Limited with FirstBank 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 January 22 and March 19, 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 (retd) 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.”
Nigerian Pilot recalled that Dokpesi was on December 1, arrested and detained in connection with money disbursed from the office of the former NSA under ex-President Goodluck Jonathan, Col. Sambo Dasuki (retd).
The trial was adjourned till March 2 and 3, 2016 for the continuation of trial.


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