The Court Of Appeal in Abuja on Thursdays discharged and acquitted former chairman of Daar Communications PLC, Raymond Dokpesi, of corruption allegations.
Dokpesi and his company, DAAR Investment and Holdings Ltd, were arraigned on a seven-count charge bordering on alleged procurement fraud and breach of public trust.
He is alleged to have received N2.1 billion from the office of the National Security Adviser (ONSA) between October 2014 and March 2015, during the tenure of Sambo Dasuki, former national security adviser, for services not rendered.
The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) had called 13 witnesses in the course of the trial.
On November 21, 2018, John Tsoho, trial judge, had struck out Dokpesi’s no-case submission and ordered him to open his defence.
Aggrieved, Dokpesi approached the court of appeal seeking to upturn the trial court’s decision.
Elfrieda Williams-Dawodu, justice of the appellate court, delivered judgment in the appeal on Thursday.
The judge held that the prosecution failed to establish a prima facie case against the appellants.
“I am of the view that irrespective of the ingredients stated earlier and those by the appellants and the first respondent respectively, prior proof or establishment of the predicate offences in count 1, 2, 3 and 4 of the amended charge is sine qua non to the proof of the offences of money laundering specified in the said count,” she said.
“The predicate offence is an earlier offence upon which the offence being tried is based.
“The first respondent has woefully failed to show a prior establishment of the predicate offences in this case.
“Also, there is evidence to prove the conduct of the appellant and his lifestyle because that is another way of proving or establishing money laundering.
“As can be seen from the evidence on record, the first respondent has been unable to prove the predicate offences.
“It is clear that none of the offences was proven or established.
“The law is trite that the initial burden is on the prosecution to establish a prima facie case against the defendant before the pendulum will swing to the defendant to make his defence.”
She said the prosecution also failed to prove that the money received by the defendants was a “proceed of criminal breach of trust”.
ATTENTION: Do you know that you can place your advert here at moderate fee?
For more information, contact The Daily Bells today. Call / WhatsApp @ +234 802 523 7926 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org
The judge added that no case was made against the appellants to warrant them to enter their defence.
Copyright ©The Daily Bells.
All rights reserved. This material, and other digital content on this website, may not be reproduced, published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed in whole or in part without prior express written permission from The DAILY BELLS.
You Want To Receive Daily Alerts on WhatsApp? Click the image below to join our WhatsApp Group
HELLO! Do you have any NEWS you will like to share with The Daily Bells?
Contact us today for your Press Releases, Opinions, Others.
SMS: +2348060176677, WhatsApp: +2348025237926, Email: email@example.com