The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Wednesday, re-arraigned the former Chairman of DAAR Communications Plc, Chief Raymond Dokpesi, before the Federal High Court sitting in Abuja.
He is facing a six-count criminal charge.
He was alleged to have received about N2.1billion from the office of the National Security Adviser (NSA), for Peoples Democratic Party’s presidential media campaign.
The re-arraignment followed the withdrawal of the case by the Chief Judge of the Federal High Court, Justice Ibrahim Auta from the former trial Judge, Justice Gabriel Kolawole, and the subsequent transfer of the matter to Justice James Tsoho. Justice Kolawole had withdrew from the case.
According to the charge which was signed by the Deputy Director, Legal and Prosecution at the EFCC, Mr. Aliyu Yusuf, the fund was released to the accused person by the erstwhile NSA, Col. Sambo Dasuki, rtd, between October 2014 and March 19, 2015.
Dokpesi and his firm, Daar Investment and Holdings Ltd, had earlier denied the charges when they were initially arraigned before Justice Kolawole on December 9, 2015.
The Judge had subsequently on December 14, 2015, granted bail to Dokpesi in the sum of N200m with two sureties in like sum and fixed Wednesday for commencement of trial.
The funds were allegedly transferred from an account the office of NSA operated with the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, to a FirstBank of Nigeria Plc account owned by DAAR Investment and Holding Company Limited The prosecution maintained that the transaction was in breach of section 58 (4) (b) of the Public Procurement Act 2007 and punishable under section 58 (6) and 7 of the same Act, as well as under section 17 (b) of the EFCC Act, 2004.
Dokpesi’s firm, DAAR Investment and Holdings Ltd, owners of African Independent Television, AIT, and Raypower FM is the 2nd defendant in the suit.
Though trial Justice Kolawole originally fixed the matter for trial today, at the resumed sitting, EFCC took Dokpesi before another Judge for re-arraignment.
The court however allowed the accused person to go home on the same bail conditions that were handed to him by Justice Kolawole.
Appearing before Justice Tsoho on Wednesday, Dokpesi, whose defence team is now being led by Chief Wole Olanipekun (SAN), again denied the charges as he earlier did during his initial arraignment.
The prosecution led by Rotimi Jacobs (SAN), accused Dokepsi and Daar Investment and Holdings Ltd, of receiving, N2.1bn from the office of the National Security Adviser between October 2014 and March 19, 2015 for the Peoples Democratic Party’s presidential media campaign in breach of provisions of the Public Procurement Act, Money Laundering (Prohibition) Act and the EFCC (Establishment) Act.
The trial was thereafter adjourned till March 2 and 3, 2016.