Friday, March 5, 2021

Court adjourns Dokpesi’s N2.1bn fraud case till May 14


Rayyan Alhassan
Rayyan Alhassan
Rayyan Alhassan is a 30-year-old graduate of Journalism and Mass Communication at Sikkim Manipal University, Ghana. He is the acting Managing Editor at the Daily Nigerian newspaper, a position he has held for the past 3 years. He can be reached via [email protected], or, or @Rayyan88 on Twitter.
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The Federal High Court Abuja has adjourned the ongoing trial of Chairman emeritus of DAAR communications PLC, Raymond Dokpesi until May 14 to enable him produce more documents in his defence.

At the resumed trial on Wednesday, counsel to Dokpesi, Mike Ozekhome, SAN, asked the court for an adjournment to enable him subpoena documents from the presidency and some ministries.

Mr Ozekhome told the court that they had previously written letters to the concerned offices but they had failed to honour the letters.

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He said that following their failure to respond to their letters, they had to subpoena them in order to get the certified true copies of documents he needed to defend his client.

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He named the offices to include the presidency, the ministry of information and culture and the office of the secretary to the government of the federation among others.

Opposing the application for an adjournment, the prosecuting counsel, Rotimi Jacobs, SAN, said that no sufficient reason had been given for an adjournment.

Mr Jacobs added that, moreover, if such documents were really important in the defendant’s defence, the defence team should subpoena them or summon the offices to give evidence.

He urged the court to refuse the application for adjournment adding that no injustice would be done if the defendant gave his evidence and the prosecution cross examined him.

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The trial judge, Justice John Tsoho adjourned the matter until May 14 and May 15 to enable the defendant acquire the certified true copies of the documents to aid him in defending his case.

Earlier, while being led in evidence by Ozekhome, Dokpesi told the court that after the media initiative was adopted in 1994, it was recommended that it should be handled by the office of the National Security Adviser.

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He added that in 2014, the Jonathan administration saw a need for the media campaign to correct the bad image the country had with respect to the raging insurgency.

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He said he was contacted by the Secretary to the Government of the Federation and a short extract was presented for a media campaign to rectify the image of the country adding that it was not a political campaign.

Mr Dokpesi is being tried alongside his company, DAAR Investment and Holdings Ltd on a six- count charge bordering on procurement fraud and breach of public trust to the tune of N2.1 billion.


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