Dokpesi begins defence in N2.1bn alleged fraud charge

Raymond Dokpesi

Founder of DAAR Communications Plc, Raymond Dokpesi, on Tuesday, opened his defence at the Federal High Court, Abuja in the alleged N2.1 billion fraud charge filed against him by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).

Dokpesi was arraigned in 2015 on a seven-count charge bordering on alleged N2.1 billion fraud, said to be payments received from former National Security Adviser, Sambo Dasuki.

At the resumed hearing, the prosecutor, Rotimi Jacobs, informed the court that the matter had been adjourned for Dokpesi to open his defence.

Dokpesi was called as the first defence witness and led in evidence by his counsel, Mike Ozekhome.

He told the court that he was a marine engineer by training and founder of Daar Investment and Holding, the parent company of Daar Communications.

He further told the court that the company which had been in business in the past 32 years for print media and 28 years for electronic media, served governments at all levels, business entities, individuals and corporate organisations.

He also told the court that the company had a brochure with advert rates where corporate organisations and individuals could peruse to pick the package that they were most comfortable with.

Ozekhome tendered the brochure as an exhibit and it was admitted in evidence.

When, he, however, sought to tender a receipt issued to Nasarawa State Government by Daar Communications, the prosecutor objected on the grounds that the document was irrelevant to the case.

“The receipts were not issued to the Federal Government and are not related to the sum of the charge which is N2.1 billion.

“All the receipts were issued in 2019, while proceedings in this suit are still pending, contrary to Section 83 of the Evidence Act,” he said.

The prosecutor insisted that since the documents sought to be tendered were photocopies, the people with the original receipts should be subpoenaed to produce the original receipts.

Justice John Tsoho adjourned the matter until January 22 for continuation of trial.