By Ikechukwu Nnochiri
ABUJA – Trial of the Chairman emeritus of DAAR Communications Plc, High Chief Raymond Dokpesi, who was accused of receiving N2.1billion from office of the National Security Adviser, ONSA, three months to the 2015 presidential election, resumed before the Federal High Court in Abuja on Thursday.
Two witnesses that were brought before the court by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, narrated how they supplied security doors, generators and a transformer valued at millions of naira, to the defendant within the period he allegedly got the N2.1bn from the ONSA.
They said the items were delivered to Dokpesi’s houses in Lagos and Agenebode, Edo State, as well his various offices.
Testifying as the seventh prosecution witness, PW-7, Mr. Peter Imoekor who identified himself as the Administrative Manager of Mikano International Ltd, Abuja Branch, said he was invited by the EFCC in February 2016 to explain some transactions which Mikano had with Dokpesi and Daar Communications Plc.
The witness told the court that between February and August 2015, Mikano, supplied four units of 140KVA, two units of 200KVA and a 500KVA electric transformer to Dokpesi’s house in Agenebode which is Dokpesi’s hometown, and to Daar’s offices in Sokoto and Gusau, Zamfara State.
He said the transaction was in respect of four units of 140KVA Basic (open type) that costs N3.5m each, saying the total deal amounted to N14m.
According to the witness, “Daar made payment for all. The payment was made in two tranches of N7m each through First Bank drafts.
“On March 19, 2015, they came to exchange three of the ‘Basic’ generators with soundproof type and paid the difference of N6, 350,000 through UBA Plc.
“Then on March 30, 2015, delivery was made. We delivered them to Sokoto and Gusau, capital of Zamfara State.
“In the same March ,they made a request for the purchase of two units of 200KVA basic generator and payment of N11,657,240 was made through transfer and delivery was made to his (Dokpesi’s) house in Otuake Quarters,Agenebode in Edo State.
“In August 2015 payment for 500KVA electric transformer was made. The amount paid was in cash. It was N3,073,200. This time the receipt was issued in his name, that is, High Chief Raymond Dokpesi’s name.
“Then a memo was issued to the head office of Mikano International Limited for delivery in Agenebode Edo State. It was subsequently delivered”, he added.
Asked to confirm if Mikano confirmed that order for the purchase of the items indeed came from the defendant, the witness said, “My lord they were mostly carried out by the officials of Daar Communications”.
The PW-7 said he did not know the source of the money Dokpesi and his company used to pay for the items they purchased from his firm, insisting that to the best of his knowledge, the transactions followed due process.
“My lord there is nothing about the transactions I consider abnormal. They have been our customer for years”.
Similarly, the eight prosecution witness, Mr.
Fabian Ozoemina who is the Managing Director, Gilgal Concepts Ltd, said he was questioned by the EFCC in January 2016 over money Dokpesi paid to his company after he was supplied with security doors.
He confirmed that his company was paid N5m and another N1,066,558 on January 27, 2015, by the defendant.
He said the total sum of N6,066,558 was for installation of security doors at Dokpesi’s house in Agenebode.
“We got a total of N6,066,558 for the supply and installation of steel security doors. We installed the security doors. They were installed at chairman’s project at Agenebode. It was installed towards the end of 2014 and early 2015.”
While being cross-examined by the defence counsel, Mr. Kanu Agabi, SAN, the PW-8 said he did not also know the source of the monies his firm got from the defendant.
He told the court that he installed some of the security doors for Dokpesi towards the end of 2014 and early 2015.
“The Chiarman, High Chief Raymond Dokpesi gave instruction for installation of the security doors. I have known him for close to 20years. His company always patronized me. Wherever you have Daar Ltd and AIT, I always made the installations.
“I have never installed doors for him in any government organisation.
“The mode of payment was normal and the prices I charged were normal too. Given the same circumstance I will still supply goods to the defendant again as I did in the past 20 years.
“My lord, after 20 years, I can say that the defendant is a very good man”, the witness added.
Meantime, trial Justice John Tsoho adjourned further hearing on the case till November 17.
Dokpesi is answering to a six-count charge the EFCC entered against him and his firm, DAAR Investment and Holdings Ltd, owners of African Independent Television, AIT and Raypower FM.
The anti-graft agency alleged that the defendants received funds from the ONSA for Peoples Democratic Party’s presidential media campaign.
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 defendants by the detained former NSA, Col. Sambo Dasuki, rtd, between October 2014 and March 19, 2015.
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.