Thursday, 10 December 2015

Alleged involvement in another fraud involving about N8billion: Govt investigating Dokpesi

Alleged involvement in another fraud involving about N8billion: Govt investigating Dokpesi

The Federal Government is investigating businessman Raymond Dokpesi for his alleged involvement in another fraud involving about N8billion, the government’s lawyer, Rotimi Jacobs (SAN), yesterday told a Federal High Court in Abuja.

Jacobs said the Federal Government was about rounding off investigations into  a fresh allegation of N8.4billion the AIT/Raypower emeritus chairman collected from the Goodluck Jonathan administration for airing  the FIFA  U17 championship which Nigeria hosted  in January 27,2012.

He said though the airing right was granted his company, DAAR Communication, by FIFA and without the Federal Government as a party to the contract, Dokpesi allegedly collected N8b from the government for the execution of the contract.

Jacobs was arguing the government’s counter-affidavit against Dokpesi’s bail application.

Dokpesi was arraigned with his company, Daar Investment and Holding Company Limited, on Wednesday on a six-count charge. He was accused of unlawfully receiving N2.1billion from former National Security Adviser (NSA), Mohammed Sambo Dasuki.

He pleaded not guilty and applied for bail. Parties argued the bail application and the prosecution’s counter affidavit yesterday.

Jacobs, urging the court to reject Dokpesi’s application, argued that a bail to Dokpesi will prejudice investigation into the N8b allegation.

He urged the court to take a judicial look at the government’s affidavit evidence, which indicated that no contract paper was exchanged by Dokpesi and any agent of the government when the N2.1b was paid to him.

Jacobs faulted Dokpesi’s claim of ill-health, noting that not only did he fail to disclose the nature of his illness, the letter of appointment with the physicians exhibited by Dokpesi was sent on December 5 when Dokpesi was already in the custody of the EFCC.

Jacobs, who is the lead prosecution lawyer in Dokpesi’s trial, said it would be dangerous to admit Dokpesi to bail because, going by the charges, he risked a jail term of seven years upon conviction and, as such, may decide to flee the country if allowed to go on bail.

Earlier, while arguing the bail application, Dokpesi’s lawyer, Mike Ozekhome (SAN), stated that the offences for which his client was standing trial were bailable because they are not capital offences.

He said Dokpesi had not in any way contributed to any act of insurgency and that he would not jump bail when granted.

Ozekhome  also told the court that his client was billed to travel abroad for a medical check-up when he got a telephone call inviting him orally to the EFCC and that without any hesitation, Dokpesi honoured the invitation as a law abiding citizen.

He also told the court that Dokpesi’s son’s wedding had been fixed for 17 and 19 of this month, he has invited prominent Nigerians and, as such, he would be around at all times to stand trial.

Ozekhome also submitted that Section 36 of the 1999 Constitution presumes his client innocent until
the contrary has been proved by the prosecution.

Justice Gabriel Kolawole, after listening to both lawyers, said he needed time to consider their arguments and processes filed.

He adjourned till December 14 for ruling and ordered that Dokpesi be remanded in the custody of the EFCC.