A witness in the ongoing trial of the founder of Daar Communications, Raymond Dokpesi, has explained how parts of the money he was accused of diverting from the office of the National Security Adviser was allegedly used by Mr. Dokpesi’s company.
Mr. Dokpesi was accused by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission of using Daar Communications Limited to divert N2.1 billion from the account of the office of the NSA then occupied by Sambo Dasuki.
The witness, Abubakar Aliyu, an investigative officer with the EFCC, was speaking on Wednesday at the continuation of the trial of Mr. Dokpesi at the Abuja Division of the Federal High Court.
Mr. Aliyu said the commission investigated the various beneficiaries of the allegedly diverted fund.
According to Mr. Aliyu, Mr. Dokpesi transferred some funds to certain beneficiaries for the purpose of obtaining the International Conference Centre for use by the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP.
Among the alleged beneficiaries were Abubakar Jawa who was contacted by the EFCC. Mr. Aliyu said Mr. Jawa confirmed receiving N100 million from Mr. Dokpesi in the form of a loan.
He added that another man, Timaus Matins, who was described by the first defendant as a resource person, was paid N20 million by Mr. Dokpesi.
“Investigations revealed that N8.1 million of the amount was used for political jingles for the PDP. N4.5 million was given to him (Martins) as a long service staff and as accident bonus for sustaining injury in the course of his official duty for AIT in Yola.
“The sum of N4.3 million and N2.7 million, respectively was used for the extension and electricity installation in the AIT Zonal office Yola. N1.3 million was used to dig a borehole in AIT’s office in Yola.
“Other beneficiaries, including Oluwatosin Dokpesi, a wife of the first defendant, benefited over N100 million. Gabriel Agorie and Godfrey Osifo are all staff of the first and second defendants. From the records submitted by the first defendant and the bank, they had received so much funds from the same accounts both through transfer and cash. They are the resource people, as claimed by the first defendant.
“Trendy Shade Nigeria Limited was discovered to be one of the beneficiaries in the course of the Investigation,” said Mr. Aliyu who added that a woman simply identified as Bose (because the witness could not pronounce her last name), confirmed the payment of N46 million in five trenches to Trendy Shades.
“The total amount paid to the company is N230 million by the second defendant on the instructions of the first defendant,” Mr. Aliyu said.
According to the witness, the various funds were paid from the account of the NSA domiciled at the Central Bank of Nigeria with final instructions from the office of the NSA. He added that the funds were reportedly paid for rebranding the image of the PDP.
The witness added that another sum of N400 million was paid to a beneficiary on January 23, 2015 while N30 million was paid in cash to Godfrey Osifo, among other payments.
According to the witness, the former director of finance at the CBN, Salisu Shuaibu, confirmed that he transferred the funds to the first defendant from the accounts of the NSA in CBN, based on instructions from the NSA.
“There were also print and electronic media in the original proposal by the first defendant. He claimed they were going to carry out media activities. For those who we were able to get their addresses, we wrote to them. Some of them are Silverbird, Kiss FM, Punch, Guardian, Peoples Media Limited, Media Trust, Liberty Radio, Abuja Broadcasting Corporation, among others.”
While giving his evidence, Mr. Aliyu read through some documents to confirm the payments and reported communications to the various beneficiaries.
In a reaction to Mr. Aliyu’s use of documents, Mr. Dokpesi’s lead counsel, Kanu Agabi, a former Attorney-General of the Federation, said the Court of Appeal had ruled that the reading of documents by a witness who did not prepare the said document, will not be regarded as an evidence.
The prosecution lawyer, Leke Atolagbe, responded to Mr. Agabi’s objection, saying the same Court of Appeal had warned against dumping documents in court.
“They are already before Your Lordship,” Mr. Atolagbe added.
But Mr. Agabi persisted, saying the evidence amounts to a documentary hearsay.
“It is documentary hearsay and if he persists when we come to address him, we will take him on that,” Mr. Agabi said.
The trial judge, John Tsoho, adjourned the case till March 9 for cross-examination of the witness.