A prosecution witness in the trial of Raymond Dokpesi, former Chairman of DAAR Communications Plc, on Wednesday, March 29, 2017 told Justice John Tsoho of the Federal High Court sitting in Abuja how over N2.1 billion was credited to the account of DAAR Communications Holdings Plc by the Office of National Security Adviser (ONSA) under Col. Sambo Dasuki (retd).
Dokpesi is being prosecuted by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) on a six-count charge alongside his firm, DAAR Investment Holdings Ltd, for his alleged involvement in the diversion of billions of naira meant for the purchase of arms to fight insurgency in the North-East.
The witness, Zainab Ibrahim Kokobili, a relationship manager at First Bank, told the court that, “N500 million was credited into the account of DAAR Communications Holdings Plc on January 22, 2015 from the ONSA.
According to Kokobili, who was led in evidence by counsel to EFCC, Oluwaleke Atolagbe from the chambers of Rotimi Jacobs, SAN, “High Chief Raymond Anthony Aleogho Dokpesi and Raymond Paul Dokpesi were the signatories to the account”. She added that any of them had the mandate instruction to sign.
The witness told the court that she was invited to the EFCC in Lagos, where she made statements and presented some documents.
She added that prior to January 22, 2015, the balance in the account was N113,585.28.
On other payments into the account, Kokobili stated that, on February 4, 2015 another sum of N500 million was paid into the account of DAAR Communications by ONSA. She also added that N620 million and N500 million were paid into the account on February 9, 2015 and March 19, 2015 respectively from the same source.
Bundle of documents which include statement of account of DAAR Communications, account opening package and certificate of identification were presented and admitted as “Exhibit B”, while bank transfer instructions in respect of the account, letter to EFCC Chairman forwarding the documents were all admitted as “Exhibit C”.
Under cross-examination by Dokpesi’s counsel, Kanu Agabi, SAN, Kokobili told the court that First Bank accepted DAAR Communications Holdings Plc because it believed its operations are legitimate and did not see anything wrong with the company until it was invited by EFCC. She also told the court that she had no idea why “these monies” were paid into the account of DAAR Communications and Holdings Plc.
The case has been adjourned to May 24 and 25, 2017 for further hearing.