Federal Government’s lawyer, Rotimi Jacobs (SAN), told a Federal High Court in Abuja that it was rounding off investigations into a fresh allegation of N8.4billion the AIT/Raypower chairman collected from the Goodluck Jonathan administration for airing the FIFA U17 championship which Nigeria hosted in January 27,2012.
While arguing the government’s counter-affidavit against Dokpesi’s bail application, Jacobs said though the airing right was granted DAAR Communication by FIFA without the Federal Government as a party to the contract, the defendant allegedly collected N8b from the government for the execution of the contract.
Dokpesi was arraigned with his company, Daar Investment and Holding Company Limited, on Wednesday on a six-count charge, bothering on unlawfully receiving N2.1billion from former National Security Adviser (NSA), Mohammed Sambo Dasuki.
He pleaded not guilty and applied for bail, but Jacobs urged the court to reject Dokpesi’s bail application on the grounds that granting him a bail will prejudice investigation into the N8billion allegation.
He urged the court to take a judicial look at the government’s affidavit evidence, which indicated that no contract paper was exchanged by Dokpesi and any agent of the government when the N2.1b was paid to him.
Jacobs also faulted Dokpesi’s claim of ill-health, noting that not only did he fail to disclose the nature of his illness, the letter of appointment with the physicians exhibited by Dokpesi was sent on December 5 when Dokpesi was already in the custody of the EFCC.
According to the government’s lead prosecution lawyer in Dokpesi’s trial, “it would be dangerous to admit Dokpesi to bail because, going by the charges, he risked a jail term of seven years upon conviction and, as such, may decide to flee the country if allowed to go on bail.”
Earlier, while arguing the bail application, Dokpesi’s lawyer, Mike Ozekhome (SAN), stated that the offences for which his client was standing trial were bailable because they are not capital offences.
He said Dokpesi had not in any way contributed to any act of insurgency and that he would not jump bail when granted.
Ozekhome also told the court that his client was billed to travel abroad for a medical check-up when he got a telephone call inviting him orally to the EFCC and that without any hesitation, Dokpesi honoured the invitation as a law abiding citizen.
He also claimed that Dokpesi’s son’s wedding had been fixed for 17 and 19 of this month, he has invited prominent Nigerians and, as such, he would be around at all times to stand trial.
Ozekhome also submitted that Section 36 of the 1999 Constitution presumes his client innocent until the contrary has been proved by the prosecution.
Justice Gabriel Kolawole, after listening to both lawyers, said he needed time to consider their arguments and processes filed. He adjourned till December 14 for ruling and ordered that Dokpesi be remanded in the custody of the EFCC.
By Olisemeka Obeche