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FG charges Dokpesi with money laundering

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The Federal Government Tuesday filed charges against businessman and media proprietor, Raymond Dokpesi before the Federal high Court, Abuja in relation to his alleged receipt of about N2.1billion in the from the last administration from funds meant for the purchase of arms.

The charge was filed by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has six counts. It is marked: FHC/ABJ/CR/380/2015.

Dokpesi is charged along with his company – Daar Holding and Investment Limited.

They are accused of violating the Money Laundering Act, the EFCC Act and the Public Procurement Act. The charge is yet to be assigned to any judge for hearing.

Dokpesi is the second person to be charged among some highly placed Nigerians accused of involvement in the mismanagement funds meant for the purchase of military wares under the Goodluck Jonathan administration.

Already, a former National Security Adviser (NSA), Sambo Mohammed Dasuki is being tried before the Federal High Court, Abuja for illegal possession of firearms and money laundering.

Dokpsi, who is currently on bail from the EFCC, was last Friday ordered to be produced by Justice Gabriel Kolawole (also of the Federal High Court, Abuja)

The order followed an ex-parte application by Dokpesi, who claimed to have been unlawfully detained beyond 48 hours by the EFCC.

The judge, who heard Dokpesi’s lawyer, Mike Ozekhome (SAN) in chambers, ordered the EFCC to produce Dokpesi before his court on the next hearing date of December 14.

Ozekhome, who told journalists what happened in the judge’s chambers, said the judge also ordered the EFCC to show cause why he should not grant Dokpesi’s prayer for unconditional or conditional bail.

Dokpesi had, in the application, prayed for an order compelling the respondent to produce the applicant who is presently in its custody or any other place of detention before this court on the date this application comes up for hearing.

He also sought an order admitting the applicant to bail on self recognisance or on such favourable and liberal terms as this court may deem fit to make in the circumstances of this case, pending the formal arraignment of the applicant before a court of law.

He hinged his prayers on the ground that no formal charge has been brought against him, over 48 hours after his detention.

The applicant said he went to honour a verbal invitation from officials of the EFCC on December 1 and had been detained since then after subjecting him to hours of “unprepared interrogation.”

He argued that the offences alleged against him “are ordinarily bailable.”

He promised not to jump bail, not to interfere with witnesses or the course of justice if any formal charge was filed against him.

Dokpesi said, with his social status, the court could grant him bail on liberal terms. Or on self recognisance as he has no criminal antecedents or record.

He promised to attend court if eventually he is formally arraigned.

In a supporting affidavit, the applicant said he was arrested over his inability to honour an invitation by the office of the National Security Adviser (NSA) inviting Daar Investment and Holding Limited (an arm of Daar Communications Ltd) “for discussion on the supply and services rendered to the Office of the NSA.”

He stated that while he was yet to perfect the bail granted him by the EFCC “on the most onerous,” it went before a Magistrate’s Court to procure an order to legitimise and further detain him.

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