Chairman Emeritus of Daar Communications Plc and aspirant for the position of national chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, High Chief Raymond Dokpesi, has said that the corruption charges filed against him by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, will not affect his ambition.
Mr. Dokpesi said the charges cannot be used by the federal government or the All Progressives Congress, APC, to hoodwink him if he is elected national chairman of the opposition, PDP.
The media mogul was first docked by the EFCC before a federal high court sitting in Abuja on December 9, 2015 on six-count criminal charge. He is accused of receiving about N2.1billion from the office of the former National Security Adviser, Sambo Dasuki, for the PDP’s presidential media campaign last year.
The fund was released to Mr. Dokpesi between October 2014 and March 19, 2015.
Addressing delegates from Kwara State yesterday at the party’s secretariat in Ilorin in continuation of his nationwide consultation as he seeks to become the national chairman of the PDP at its convention slated for August 17, 2016 in Port Harcourt, Rivers State, the chieftain maintained that he is innocent until proven guilty by a competent court.
“The case is in court and I don’t want to comment on it but I will not join APC or be a stooge because of it. I respect Buhari as the president of Nigeria but what he is doing now is not different from what he did as a military head of state. He locked up Nigerians for 200 years, some 150 years. As the Chief of Staff of Gongola State, I was locked up and my charge was that I held political office”, he said.
He gave an analogy of his travails in the hands of the EFCC thus: “If you are an hotelier and someone spent three days in your hotel and paid for services rendered but days later, DSS came to arrest you that the money the client paid you was from illegal proceed from CBN. ….. Let me stop there as the judge will decide”.
On the current leadership tussle in the PDP, Mr. Dokpesi said governors and stakeholders in the party are reaching out to Senator Ali Modu Sheriff, for reconciliation and peace.
Responding, the Kwara PDP Chairman, Akogun Oyedepo, praised the aspirant and assured him of support, stating that he had set a standard for others to follow.
“We have not seen any other candidate that can match your credentials. We will go with you because you are a pioneer. PDP that is almost crumbling needs someone like you. APC is jittery already because of Dokpesi credentials. We need to return the party to the people and that is what you are doing by meeting delegates. We have heard you and we will make you accountable for your words”, Mr. Oyedepo said.
Other PDP stakeholders in the state, including Senator Idris Haliru Gunu and Senator Ajadi Makanjuola hailed Dokpesi’s determination to lead the party.