Media mogul and founding chairman of African Independent Television, AIT, and a senior member of the opposition Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Chief Raymond Dokpesi, was quizzed by Immigration officials for two fundamental reasons bordering on alleged violation of Nigerian immigration laws, Comptroller-General, Mohammed Babandede, has said.
The media executive was invited for questioning shortly after officials alleged that he travelled and returned to the country in manners that are unclear.
Dokpesi spoke with journalists shortly after he was grilled, Wednesday, confirming his visit had to do with his latest trip overseas.
But Babandede’s explanation of what transpired contradicted what Dokpesi told reporters, Wednesday.
“We do not know how he left the country, whether through the land, air or sea,” Babandede said.
Dokpesi said he received clearance from the court to allow him to travel out, but Babandede told PREMIUM TIMES the Immigration does not have any information from the court in that respect.
Babandede added: “He (Dokpesi) was only invited for questioning in respect of crossing borders based on the powers given to us by the Immigration Act 2015. He was never detained.
“Also, this has nothing to do with the Federal Government. It has to do with the Nigerian Immigration Service under my leadership.”
In his interaction with reporters in Abuja Wednesday, Dokpesi acknowledged that the Nigerian government has the powers to retrieve his passport from him, but said the government itself has to be subservient to a judicial pronouncement on the matter.
Dokpesi said he voluntarily returned his passport to the Federal High Court shortly after he returned to the country, and he could be trusted to always do so as his medical treatment demanded.
He Dokpesi was arraigned in late 2015 for alleged violation of procurement law and benefitting up to N2.1 billion in shady media contracts for his associated outlets.