Former Chairman of DAAR Communications Plc, High Chief Raymond Dokpesi, yesterday, pleaded not guilty to a six-count charge bordering on alleged procurement fraud and breach of public trust, as regards an alleged N2.1 billion scam, brought against him by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) before Justice Gabriel Kolawole of a Federal High Court sitting in Abuja.
Dokpesi, a chieftain of the Peoples Democratic Party, shortly after his arraignment, prayed the court to grant him bail on liberal terms.
The defence counsel, Chief Mike Ozehkome, SAN, urged the court to consider the status of his client and release him on self recognition or “on the most liberal term,” saying the offences against him are ordinarily bailable.
However, the prosecuting counsel, Mr. Rotimi Jacobs, SAN, objected to the court allowing Dokpesi’s lawyer to move the bail application which he said was just served on him yesterday. He would, therefore, need time to study and react to fundamental issues he said were raised by the accused person in the bail application.
Consequently, by consent of the two lawyers, Justice Kolawole, adjourned till today to entertain arguments on whether Dokpesi should be granted bail or not.
In the interim, the court gave the EFCC the permission to detain the accused person in its custody pending determination of his bail request.
The Judge, however, slated February 17, 18 and March 2 and 3, 2016, to begin full-blown hearing on the substantive charge before the court.