The founder Chairman of DAAR Communications PLC, Chief Raymond Dokpesi has taken a fresh plea before Justice John Tsoho of the Federal High Court in Abuja, which was reassigned to handle the case of an alleged N2.1Billion money laundering charge.
Chief Dokpesi was first arraigned before Justice Gabriel Kolawole of the same court in Abuja by the federal government on a 6-count criminal charge of N2.1B money laundering in December 2015, where he pleaded not guilty to the 6-count charge and was latter granted bail.
However, Chief Dokpesi’s fresh plea was necessitated by the re-assignment of his case to Justice James Tsoho who has just been transferred from Lagos to Abuja division of the court this year, and he is saddled with the responsibility of hearing the case.
In the charge signed by Aliyu Yusuf, Deputy Director, Legal and Prosecution Department of EFCC, Dokpesi was alleged to have between October 2014 and March 2015 conducted procurement fraud by receiving the sum of N2, 120,000,000 into the account of DAAR Investment and Holding Company for the funding of media activities for the 2015 presidential election campaign of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
The alleged offence is contrary to section 58 (4) (b) of the Public Procurement Act 2007 and punishable under section 58 (6) and 7 of the same act.
After taking his plea, his counsel led by Mr. Wole Olanipekun, SAN, urged the trial judge to admit Dokpesi to the same bail terms earlier granted to him by Justice Kolawole, saying that he had been of “good behaviour” since the commencement of the suit.
The plea was not opposed to by the prosecuting Counsel, MR. Rotimi Jacobs, SAN, who informed the court that he was more interested in commencing and advancing with the trial.