Tuesday, 8 December 2015

Arms Deal: EFCC files fraud charges against Dokpesi, Bafarawa others

Arms Deal: EFCC files fraud charges against Dasuki, Yuguda, Dokpesi, Bafarawa others

Investigating arms procurement in the last administration alleges illegal spending of up to N643.8 billion and a further $2.2 billion

Nigeria’s Economic and Financial Crimes Commission has slammed various charges bordering on fraud and money laundering on a former National Security Adviser, Sambo Dasuki; former Sokoto Governor, Attahiru Bafarawa; and founder of Daar Holdings Plc, Raymond Dokpesi, in the Federal High Court Abuja.

Multiple sources at the anti-corruption agency told PREMIUM TIMES late on Tuesday that a former Minister of State for Finance, Bashir Yuguda; Mr. Dasuki; Shuaibu Salisu, a former Director of Finance at the NSA office, Mr. Bafarawa and his son, Sagir; and a company, Dalhatu Investment Limited would be docked on a 22-count charge of fraud and money laundering.

In a separate charge, Mr. Dasuki; Mr. Salisu; a former director at the NNPC, Aminu Baba Kusa; and two firms, Acacia Holdings Limited and Reliance Referral Hospital would be face a 19-count charge bothering on fraud, corruption and money laundering.

In a third charge sheet, also filed by the EFCC at the court, Mr. Dokpesi and the company he founded, Daar Investment and Holdings would face a two-count charge of fraud and money laundering.

Another source at the EFCC told PREMIUM TIMES all the accused persons might be docked on Wednesday at the FHC Abuja. But this newspaper was unable to independently verify that information Tuesday.

The spokesperson to the EFCC, Wilson Uwujaren, confirmed to PREMIUM TIMES that charges had been filed against the suspects. He however declined to provide details of the charges.

Mr. Uwujaren also wouldn’t say if Mr. Sambo and his colleagues would be arraigned Wednesday.

One Babasola Kuti, who appeared to be acting on behalf of the Dokpesi family, had earlier on Tuesday sent a statement to PREMIUM TIMES, saying a six-count charge (not two-count) had been slammed on the media mogul and his company, Daar Investment and Holding Company.

“The six-count charge filed by Aliyu M. Yusuf, deputy director of legal, in the legal and prosecution department of the efcc, against Dokpesi and a company, Daar Investments Holding Ltd, shows that four of the counts relate to alleged breach of the public procurement act of 2007, while one relates to money laundering and the sixth alleged that Dokpesi and Daar Investment Company had knowledge that the N2.1 billion paid to them by the federal government, through the office of the NSA, represented the proceeds of criminal conduct,” the statement said.

It continued, “The other five counts accused them of fraudulent and corrupt act by entering into a contract with the federal government for presidential media initiative and that they got paid N2.1 billion without any open competitive bidding; without a written and comprehensive request to them by the federal government of Nigeria; and without a “certificate of no objection” for contract award.

“According to one of the counts, the money received by Dr. Raymond Dokpesi represents proceeds of criminal conduct of former NSA Colonel Sambo Dasuki, and Shuaibu Salisu who was a director of finance in the office of the National Security Adviser.”

The statement however noted that the charges slammed on Mr. Dokpesi had nothing to do with arms purchase.

Mr. Dokpesi’s family had last week issued a statement saying, the Daar founder never bidded for any contract with either the office of the NSA or Ministry of Defence.

They said his company submitted a proposal for media-related job to former President Goodluck Jonathan, which was approved, executed and paid for through the office of the National Security Adviser.

Following an interim report released by a presidential committee investigating arms procurement in the last administration, which alleged illegal spending of up to N643.8 billion and a further $2.2 billion, the EFCC set up a special panel to probe how the monies were spent.

The EFCC, in the past weeks, made high profile arrests in connection with the matter.

The investigation is still ongoing and the EFCC says more senior officials of the last administration might be quizzed on the disbursement and spending of the monies.