PROSECUTION WITNESS SHOCKS EFCC COUNSEL IN COURT: SAYS DUE PROCESS WAS FOLLOWED IN AWARD OF CONTRACT & PAYMENT TO DOKPSESI,’S COMPANY

A Prosecution Witness in the ongoing trial of the Chairman Emeritus of Daar Communication, High Chief Raymond Dokpesi, Aliyu Mohammed, yesterday told the Federal High Court sitting in Abuja how monies were transferred into DAAR Investment and Holding Limited for campaign purposes.

The Federal Government is prosecuting Dokpesi over an alleged receipt of N2.1billion from the Office of the National Security Adviser being part of the funds meant for the purchase of arms. The witness, a manager in the payment section of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) told the court that the former NSA Col. Sambo Dasuki (Rtd) and the Director, Finance of the Office of the National Security Adviser, S. A Salisu, who were signatories of ONSA account, ordered the payment of N500 million into the account of DAAR Investment and Holding Company via a payment schedule/mandate dated January 21, 2015.

Led in evidence by the Prosecution Counsel, Rotimi Jacobs (SAN), Mohammed told the trial judge, Justice John Tsoho, that the former NSA also ordered another payment of N500 million on February 2, 2015 and another N620 million into the account of DAAR Investment and Holding Company as payment for “media campaign”.

The witness also told the court that there was another mandate from ONSA to pay Dokpesi’s company another N500 million on March 19, 2015 for the same media campaign purpose. Under cross examination by Dokpesi’s lead counsel, Chief Wole Olanipekun, (SAN), the witness told the court that due procedures were followed before the ONSA account, which is being funded by the office of the Accountant General of the Federation was opened with the CBN. Responding to Olanipekun’s questions on the payment schedules/mandates by ONSA, tendered as exhibits by the prosecution, the witness told the court that, Dalhatu Investment Limited, mentioned in Exhibit A1 (payment schedule) was paid N500 million for “supply of security equipment”.

He said the Presidential Air fleet was also paid N60.6 million, Makpad General Enterprises Nigeria Limited got N13.6 million for supply of rice to camps of the Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) and the C in C Security Department got N75 million from ONSA’s account with the CBN.

In Exhibit A3, the witness confirmed that apart from the money paid into the account of DAAR Investment and Holding Company, “We have Online Nigeria Limited and N200 million was paid into the company’s account for consultancy services, Vibrant Resources Limited was paid N450 million for security services, Jawaz Multipurpose Investures Limited got N148 million for supply of security equipment and A. R Security Solution Limited got N2 billion for “personnel support and logistics”.

Other payments approved by the Office of the NSA, according to the witness, who is a manager with the Central Bank are, N100 million to Hydrocarbons Limited for energy consortium, N239.5 million to DPA Officer of the NSA for the funding of Nigeria Radiation Project, N400 million to Cosst Limited for the supply of security equipment. The witness further told the court that all the payments as stated in the schedules/mandates of the ONSA were effected by the CBN because due process was followed.

The prosecution counsel, Jacobs, visibly surprised by his witness’ testimony, attempted to question Mohammed based on his response but the defence counsel objected. The court however asked the witness to clarify his response and he repeated that, “because they have complied with all the due process. We are comfortable and the process is legitimate to us.”

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