Saturday, December 5

Court rejects bail application of AIT boss Raymond Dokpesi

The Federal High Court, Abuja, has denied the bail application of Chairman of DAAR Communications Plc, Raymond Dokpesi, who is being held by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC). Dokpesi was arrested on Tuesday in connection with the ongoing probe into the procurement of arms and ammunition for the Nigerian Armed Forces during the last administration.

Rather, the court ordered Dokpesi’s counsel to put EFCC on notice to avail them the opportunity to appear before it on December 14, to show cause why Dokpesi, who has been in its custody for about a week, should not be granted conditional or unconditional bail.

Ruling on an exparte bail application argued by Dokpesi’s counsel, Mike Ozekhome (SAN), Justice Gabriel Kolawole declined the relief sought. In the exparte application filed on December 3, Ozekhome had petitioned the court for an order to compel EFCC to produce Dokpesi who is presently in its custody.

He also petitioned the court for an order admitting Dokpesi to bail on self-recognizance or liberal terms, pending his formal arraignment by the anti-graft agency. Other grounds for the motion is that the offences against Dokpesi are ordinarily bailable, adding also that he has no reason to jump bail, escape justice or interfere with witnesses.

Ozekhome said Dokpesi has no criminal antecedent or record and that because of his status in society, he should be granted bail on self-recognisance or in the most liberal terms.

When contacted, Ozekhome said: “I do not regard this as an arrest. If you are invited by the EFCC, that is not the same thing as an arrest. We got this information through a mere phone call. There is no warrant of arrest and as a well-respected obedient nationalist, Dokpesi decided to go and answer the invitation.”

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