- Dokpesi gets bail
Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, yesterday, arraigned the embattled former National Security Adviser, NSA, Col. Sambo Dasuki, retd, before an Abuja High Court in Maitama over a fresh 19-count criminal charge.
Dasuki was docked alongside the erstwhile Director of Finance in the Office of the NSA, Mr. Shuaibu Salisu, former Executive Director of the Nigeria National Petroleum Commission, NNPC, Aminu Baba-Kusa, as well as his companies, Acacia Holding Limited and Reliance Referral Hospital Limited.
Meanwhile, the accused persons who were alleged to have illegally diverted over N13.6billion from the national treasury, pleaded not guilty to the entire charge, even as Justice Hussein Baba Yusuf adjourned till today to hear their separate applications for bail.
Specifically, EFCC, alleged that it was the accused persons that supervised the unlawful disbursement of billions of Naira from different bank accounts belonging to the office of the NSA.
The funds were allegedly distributed to delegates to the Presidential Primary Election of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, held in Abuja, a process that saw the emergence of ex-President, Goodluck Ebele Jonathan as the sole candidate of the party in the March 28, 2015 presidential elections.
The EFCC, among other things, alleged that the sum of N13.570 billion, being money for an “agreement”, between Dasuki and the ex-Director of Finance in the office of the NSA, Salisu, was looted from the national treasury.
They were said to have transferred a total sum of N1.45billion to Acacia Holdings Limited’s account for special prayers; N2.1billion given to DAAR Investment and Holding Company Limited for publicity; N170million for a four-bedroom duplex; N380million to support re-election of members of the House of Representatives; and N750million paid into Reliance Referral Hospital Limited’s account for special prayers.
Besides, EFCC said its investigations revealed that N670million was paid to certain publisher, N260million transferred to Tony Anenih and N345million traced to a former President of the Senate, Sen. Iyorchia Ayu.
The Commission said it has not been able to trace the ex-Special Assistant on Domestic Affairs to ex-President Goodluck Jonathan, Hon. Waripamowei Dudafa, who it said was “on the run” up till date.
The federal government had charged Dasuki before a federal high court in Abuja for allegedly being in possession of illegal firearms.
Dokpesi gets N400m bail
Meanwhile, a Federal High Court in Abuja yesterday granted the former Chairman of DAAR Communications Plc, High Chief Raymond Dokpesi bail in the sum of N400milion.
In the ruling yesterday, trial Justice Gabriel Kolawole ordered Dokpesi who is facing a six-count criminal charge, to produce two sureties who must deposit N200million each.
The court held that one of the sureties must be a public servant, either serving or retired, not below the level of a Director, adding that the second surety may be an entrepreneur who must submit three years tax clearance.
Justice Kolawole further held that either of the two sureties must tender title deeds of a landed property in any part of Nigeria, the value of which must not be below N200milion.
The sureties, the court said must depose to an affidavit of means, submit two recent passport photographs to the Deputy Chief Registrar, DCR, Administration, of the high court.
The Judge further directed Dokpesi to surrender his international passport, and that “If already in custody of the EFCC, it should be delivered to the DCR of the Federal High Court in charge of Litigation”.
Meanwhile, Justice Kolawole has ordered that Dokpesi should be remanded in prison custody pending the perfection of the bail conditions.
Nigerian Pilot recalled that Dokpesi who is a chieftain of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, was arraigned before the court on December 11 over alleged N2.1billion fraud.
He is facing trial alongside his firm, DAAR Investment and Holdings Ltd, owners of African Independent Television, AIT, and Raypower FM.
Specifically, EFCC, in the charge signed by its Deputy Director, Legal and Prosecution, Mr. Aliyu Yusuf, alleged that Dokpesi received about N2.1billion from the office of the National Security Adviser, NSA, for PDP’s presidential media campaign.
According to the charge, the funds were released to the accused persons between October 2014 and March 19, 2015.
The funds were allegedly transferred from an account the office of NSA operated with the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, to a FirstBank of Nigeria Plc account owned by DAAR Investment and Holding Company Limited
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.
Dokpesi had since pleaded not guilty to the charge, even as the court slated February 17, 18 and March 2 and 3, 2016, to begin full-blown hearing of the case.