Johnson Ejohwenu, a witness in the trial of Raymond Dokpesi, former Chairman of DAAR Communications Plc, on Wednesday, May 24, 2017 told Justice John Tsoho of the Federal High Court sitting in Abuja how N6million was used by Dokpesi to host a two-day forum for former councillors during the administration of former President Goodluck Jonathan.
Dokpesi and his firm, Daar, are being prosecuted on a six-count charge relating to the sum of N2.1bn he allegedly received from the Office of the National Security Adviser (ONSA) between October 2014 and March 2015 for the Peoples Democratic Party’s presidential media campaign.
Ejohwenu, who was the Chief accountant for Top Rank Hotel Limited, Area 11 Branch, Garki, Abuja between 1999 and 2017 during examination by prosecuting counsel, Rotimi Jacobs, SAN, told the court that, “the payments were made by Daar Investment Holdings Limited for a two-day forum for ex- councillors in February 2015.
Testifying as PW4, Ejohwenu listed as part of his schedule of duties: “Managing business relationships between the Hotel and clients; Reconciling bank transactions; Cash collections, Implementation of cost control policies; Sales activities; Furnishing the Management with necessary accounting information and Liaising with Federal Government agencies like Federal Inland Revenue, FIRS, AMAC among others."
The witness, in specifying his relationship with DAAR Investment Holdings Limited told the court that, “as at February 2015, they used to refer guests to us for accommodation purposes. After due reconciliation of the hotel bills, they make settlement”.
Specifically, he said: “In February 2015, I received a booking request from Bomantek Standard Investment through their representative, one Madam Mute Olori, for feeding and accommodation for the ex-councillors’ forum scheduled for February 24 - 25, 2015. Subsequently, a cheque of N6million was issued by DAAR Investment and Holdings Company”.
He further added that, at the end of the forum, a bill of about N3.4million was prepared being cost of feeding and accommodation. Thereafter, a refund of about N2.5million was made in cash to Olori.
Further hearing has been fixed for May 25, 2017.