The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has preferred six counts of money laundering and procurement-related charges involving N2.1bn against the former Chairman of DAAR Communications Plc, owners of AIT and Raypower FM,Chief Raymond Dokpesi.
The suit, containing the charges, numbered FHC/ABJ/CR/380/2015, was filed before a Federal High Court in Abuja on Tuesday. Dokpesi and a subsidiary of Daar Communications, Daar Investment and Holding Limited, are the two defendants.
The charges arose from the N2.1bn the defendants allegedly collected from the Office of the former National Security Adviser, Col. Sambo Dasuki (retd.).
The EFCC had arrested Dokpesi following an investigation into the interim report of a presidential committee on the procurement of arms and equipment for the Armed Forces and the defence sector from 2007 to date.
Dokpesi had, however, in a statement, said the money he collected from the NSAs office was meant for publicity and media campaigns during the 2015 general elections, describing it as a contractual transaction.
In the charges, sighted by our correspondent on Tuesday, the prosecution said Dokpesi and his company had, by the deal, violated the provisions of the EFCC Act, Public Procurement Act and Money Laundering (Prohibition) Act.
The case, as of the time of filing this report on Tuesday, had not been assigned to a judge but our correspondent learnt that the arraignment of the defendants might take place before the end of this week. Justice Gabriel Kolawole of the same Federal High Court in Abuja had on December 4, asked the EFCC to produce Dokpesi in court on December 14.
The judge made the order in his ruling on an ex parte application filed by Dokpesis lawyer, Chief Mike Ozekhome (SAN).
The proceedings, during which the judge granted the order on Friday, held in the judges chambers and not in the open court.
Ozekhome, who informed journalists of the outcome of the proceedings, said the judge also ordered the EFCC to appear in court to show cause why he should not grant Dokpesis prayer for unconditional or conditional bail.
The senior advocate had argued that his client had been unlawfully detained by the EFCC beyond 48 hours. Dokpesi, through his lawyer, had in the application, prayed for an order compelling the EFCC to produce him 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-recognition 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.
His prayers were anchored on the grounds that no charges had been formally instituted against him over 48 hours after his detention.
The applicant said he honoured 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.
Meanwhile, a Federal High Court in Abuja on Tuesday adjourned hearing in the trial of former National Security Adviser (NSA), retired Col. Sambo Dasuki, till Jan. 20, 2016. Dasuki, the NSA during the administration of former President Goodluck Jonathan, is standing trial on allegations of illegal possession of firearms and money laundering.
He had pleaded not guilty to the charges. Justice Adeniyi Ademola adjourned the case for hearing in the applications by the prosecution seeking to revoke the bail granted to Dasuki.
He said the court will also hear another application by the prosecution seeking to stop Dasuki from travelling abroad for medical attention.
Counsel to the defendant, Joseph Daudu (SAN), had told the court that he filed notice of preliminary objections to the two applications by the prosecution.
The prosecution counsel, Mr Oladipo Okpeseyi, said he had just been served with the notices of objection and would need time to reply to them.