Wednesday, 2 December 2015

What I know about EFCC probe of Dokpesi — Lawyer... N2.1bn Arms Money Scandal

What I know about — Lawyer

Mike Ozekhome, the lawyer to Raymond Dokpesi, founder of Daar Communications, Raymond Dokpesi, has said he was not aware his client received money from the office of the former National Security Adviser, NSA, Sambo Dasuki.

Mr. Ozekhome also said reports that Mr. Dokpesi was arrested by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission ,EFCC, over the alleged payment, were not correct because Mr. Dokpesi went on his own to the anti-graft agency after receiving a call from its chairman.

“I am not aware the chief collected any money,” he said, referring to Mr. Dokpesi.

A source at the EFCC had told PREMIUM TIMES that Mr. Dokpesi was interrogated by investigators because he received N2.1 billion from the NSA’s office on the eve of the 2015 general election.

The EFCC said it suspected the money was payment for documentaries and advertisements by Daar communications during the electioneering campaign.

“The chief called me earlier in the afternoon to say he received a call from the chairman of the EFCC wanting to see him and I sent one of my lawyers to accompany him. He was not arrested by any group of operatives,” he said.

Mr. Ozekhome said prior to Tuesday’s invitation of Mr. Dokpesi, there was no formal communication from the EFCC to him.

“What I know is that the EFCC wrote to Daar Holdings asking for a list of directors and whether it has done any business or contract with the office of the NSA in the past and how much was involved.

“We wrote them a reply to say Daar did not do any contract with the office of the NSA and we are ready to give them all the information they need,” he said.

The EFCC has arrested a number of individuals indicted by a presidential investigations committee into arms procurement by the Goodluck Jonathan administration.

The committee had in its interim report said that it found extra-budgetary spending by the Jonathan administration to the tune of N643.8 billion and an additional $2.2 billion in foreign currency component.

A competent source at the EFCC had earlier told us that Mr. Dasuki had received N2.1 billion from the money.

“Chief Dokpesi received N2.1 billion from the NSA’s office but investigators cannot see any clear reason for the payment,” he said.

The source said investigators were “suspicious that the money was passed to him as payment for the damaging documentaries and campaigns his station ran on Buhari, Tinubu and Amaechi”.

President Muhammad Buhari, Ahmed Tinubu and Chibuike Amaechi are leaders of the ruling All Progressives Congress.

At the time the money was allegedly paid, Mr. Buhari was the party’s presidential candidate.

“They believe the funds were budgeted for arms procurement but was diverted to Mr. Dokpesi,” the source said.