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Court sends Dokpesi back to custody as EFCC opposes bail



Efforts by the counsel to Chief Raymond Dokpesi, Mike Ozekhome to secure bail for the embattled founder of DAAR Communications met a brickwall on Thursday, as the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, stoutly opposed the bail application.

Dokpesi, who appeared in court on Thursday, was ordered to be returned to EFCC custody by Justice Gabriel Kolawole pending the ruling on his application for bail on Monday.

According to the trial judge, the adjournment would help him look critically at the arguments presented by both counsel, since he had just been briefed on the matter, for the first time.

Read also: Dokpesi arraigned, remanded in EFCC custody

Dokpesi’s counsel had asked the judge to rule on his earlier application for bail for his client, adding that his application included exhibits, A4 to A8 which made his client’s bail very necessary.

According to Ozekhome, the exhibits included Dokpesi’s application to travel abroad, as well as his ticket from British Airways.

He prayed the judge to disregard the argument of the prosecution which contended that other matters might arise.

“He is saying that there could be other charges in future relating to about N8.4 billion, involving a certain FIFA Under-17 World Cup,” Mr. Ozekhome said calling on the judge to avoid acting on speculation.

Ozekhome also drew the judge’s attention to the upcoming wedding of Dokpesi’s son, as well as the challenges he claimed to have experienced in reaching his client as other reasons the bail application should be granted, contending, that the alleged offences were ‘bail-able’ according to Section 16, sub sections nine, of the Administration of Criminal Justice Act.

However, counsel to the EFCC, Rotimi Jacobs, SAN, argued that the defendant was not entitled to bail, based the materials provided by Mr. Ozekhome, asking the judge to look into the nature of the matter before him, including the evidences and consider the possibility of Mr. Dokpesi jumping bail.

According to Jacobs, there were reasonable evidence that N2.1 billion was paid through the account of the NSA to the defendant’s company for a campaign in favour of the Peoples Democratic Party in the 2015 general election, alleging that
the money was paid from funds allocated for the war against terrorism.

He also said in paragraph 12 of his brief of argument that Mr. Dokpesi allegedly received another sum of N8billion, and N47million during the Under-17 FIFA World Cup, in 2012, in a fraudulently organised contract.

Jacobs further contended that the letter of appointment for Mr. Dokpesi’s treatment abroad referred to by Mr. Ozehkome was sent on December 5, when he was already in the custody of the EFCC, adding that exhibit A4 was also sent that same day, referring to the British Airways reservation ticket.

While praying the court not to grant the bail application, Jacobs insisted that granting Dokpesi bail would compromise the ongoing trial.

Justice Kolawole thereafter ordered Dokpesi to be returned to EFCC custody while he adjourned till Monday, 14 of December for ruling on the bail application.

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