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Dokpesi calls for prison reforms after Kuje experience

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Founder of DAAR Communications Plc, Chief Raymond Dokpesi has called for a national prison reform.

Dokpesi made this call at the AIT Christmas party after his release from Kuje prison where he was remanded until he met the bail conditions set for him by Justice Gabriel Kolawole of the Federal High Court, Abuja.

Describing the state of Nigerian prisons as appalling, the media mogul charged the management of his television station to make prison reform a burning issue.

The chieftain of the People Democratic Party, PDP, was on December 9 arraigned by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, before the high court on a six-count charge of money laundering and fraud-related procurement.

Dokpesi, who was arraigned alongside his firm, Daar Investment and Holdings Ltd, pleaded not guilty to all the six counts.

After taking his plea, Justice Gabriel Kolawole ordered that Dokpesi be remanded in EFCC custody pending the hearing of his bail application by 12.30pm on Thursday. This was as he fixed trial on the matter for February 17, 18 and March 2 and 3.

The prosecution led by Mr. Rotimi Jacobs SAN,‎ had accused the defendants of receiving N2.1bn from the Office of the National Security Adviser, ONSA, between October 2014 and March 19, 2015 for the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP presidential media campaign in breach of provisions of the Public Procurement Act, Money laundering Act and the EFCC Act.

On December 14, Kolawole granted bail to the AIT founder, in the sum N200m and two sureties in like sum, but held that he be kept at the Kuje prison, Abuja, pending the perfection of his bail conditions.

He left the prison three days after he was granted bail by the judge.

After his release yesterday, Dokpesi attended the AIT Christmas party where he charged the management of his TV station to bring the need for prison reform to the front burner of national discourse. He asserted that the situation of things in the prison is appalling.


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