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Raymond Dokpesi

Court orders EFCC to remove Raymond Dokpesi from watch list

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A Federal High Court in Abuja has ordered the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) to remove the name of politician and founder of the African Independent Television (AIT), Raymond Dokpesi, from its watch list.

Justice John Tsoho handed out the order on Monday while ruling on an application by Dokpesi.

Justice Tsoho was of the view that there was no justification for the EFCC to retain Dokpesi’s name on its watch list since no criminal charges or allegations were pending against him.

The judge, who is also the Chief Judge of the Federal High Court, noted that retaining Dokpesi’s name on EFCC’s watch list amounted to disobeying an earlier judgment of the Court of Appeal, Abuja, which in April this year quashed the alleged N2.1billion procurement fraud charge against Dokpesi.

The Court of Appeal had, in the April 1 judgment, held among others, that the prosecuting agency, the EFCC failed to establish a prima facie case against Dokpesi.

Justice Elfreda Williams-Dawodu, in the lead judgment, held that the ingredients of the offences alleged in the seven-count charge were not established by the prosecution as required by law.

Justice William-Dowodu further held that there was nothing in the evidence of the 14 witnesses called by the prosecution to persuade the court to compel the appellant to enter defence in the charges where ingredients of the offence were not provided.

The EFCC had arraigned Dokpesi and his firm, Daar Investment and Holding Limited on charges relating to money laundering and breach of Procurement Act in relation to the disbursement of the N2.1b from the Office of the National Security Adviser (ONSA) under Colonel Mohammed Sambo Dasuki (rtd).

At the conclusion of the prosecution’s case, Dokpesi and his firm made a no-case submission, which the Federal High Court rejected in a ruling in November 2018.

They appealed the decision at the Court of Appeal, Abuja, which appeal was upheld in a unanimous judgment of the appellate court’s three-member bench, delivered on April 1, 2021.

About Charles Igbinidu

Charles Igbinidu is a Public Relations practitioner in Lagos, Nigeria

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