The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, on Thursday, May 25, 2017 tendered in evidence details of correspondences between DAAR Investment and Holdings Limited, Office of the National Security Adviser, ONSA and Bureau of Public Procurement, BPP, to the effect that Raymond Dokpesi received money to the tune of N2.1billion from ONSA.
The documents were tendered by the anti-graft agency through Azonabor, who testified as PW5 in the trial of Dokpesi and DAAR Investment and Holdings Limited, who are facing a six-count charge relating to the sum of N2.1billion allegedly received from the ONSA between October 2014 and March, 2015 for the Peoples Democratic Party’s presidential media campaign.
Azonabor, an operative of EFCC, while being led in evidence by counsel to the EFCC, Rotimi Jacobs, SAN, informed the court of details of several letters originating from the EFCC in the course of investigating the alleged diversion of billions of naira meant for the purchase of arms by the ONSA under Col. Sambo Dasuki (retd).
“Sometime in 2016, a team of operatives under the directive of the Acting Chairman of EFCC was created in order to investigate, execute search, record statements, and analyze documents relating to the diversion of funds by the ONSA.
“In the course of our investigation, it was realized that a huge sum of money was paid into the account of DAAR Investment and Holdings Limited by ONSA.
“A letter was written from EFCC to ONSA requesting for details of the said payment. Consequently, ONSA replied that series of payments were made to DAAR Investment and Holdings Limited to the tune of N2.1billion.
“Thereafter, another correspondence was received by ONSA with the mandates and further details of payment attached”, Azonabor stated.
The three letters were tendered and admitted as Exhibit D1, D2 and D3.
The PW5 went on to explain that the investigating team further requested for more information from BPP to ascertain whether DAAR Investment and Holdings Limited had executed any contract for ONSA.
“BPP responded in a letter dated December 8, 2016 that no record of contract was made under the name DAAR Investment and Holdings Limited for ONSA. Hence, the contract was non-existent and as such there was no need for any monetary value for a non-existent contract”, he said.
The acknowledgement letter from BPP alongside the letter of enquiry from EFCC was tendered and admitted as Exhibit E1 and E2.
At this point, Jacobs drew attention of the court to Exhibit D1, noting that within a period of three months (that is, between January and March 2015), the sum of N2billion was paid to DAAR Investment and Holdings Limited and a letter of invite was placed to DAAR Investment and Holdings Limited who replied via its solicitor, Mike Ozekhome, SAN, clearly denying any business transactions with the ONSA.
But, Dokpesi’s lawyer, Kanu Agabi, SAN, countered him saying, “The EFCC had no case because the allegations were on DAAR Investment and Holdings Limited and not Dokpesi himself”.
The PW5, who was asked by Agabi to tell the court whether the report on the investigation dated December 5, 2016 made any mention of the defendant answered no.
However, he explained that the investigation was carried out in line with the diversion of funds meant for procurement of arms by ONSA and that, DAAR Investment and Holdings Limited was spotted as being one of the recipients.
The report was tendered and admitted as Exhibit F.
Thereafter, Justice Tsoho adjourned to July 6 – 7, 2017 for the continuation of trial.