Appeal Court Quashes N2.1bn Money Laundering Charges Against Dokpesi
A Court of Appeal in Abuja has quashed the money laundering charges to the tune of N2.1 billion filed against the founder of Daar Communications, Raymond Dokpesi.
The charges were filed against Dokpesi and his company by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).
The court, however, quashed the charges on Thursday in a unanimous judgment of a three-man panel of judges led by Justice Williams-Daudu
It held that the anti-graft agency failed to establish a prima facie case against Dokpesi and Daar Communications to warrant him entering a defence.
The appellate court added that the predicate case upon which the EFCC based its seven charges against Dokpesi has yet to be proven.
It, therefore, set aside the judgment delivered by Justice John Tsoho of the Federal High Court.
The trial court had asked Dokpesi to open his defence after dismissing the no-case submission argued by the defendant.
On November 21, 2018, Justice Tsoho had struck out the no-case submission filed by Dokpesi and his company, saying they had a case to answer.
He stated that the defendants must explain the N2.1 billion they allegedly received from the office of the National Security Adviser in 2015.
The trial judge who relied on a judgement of the Supreme Court in a similar case involving a former National Publicity Secretary of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Olisa Metuh, held that the prosecution had established a prima facie case warranting the defendants to explain their own side of the story.
He had fixed February 2019 for Dokpesi and his company to open their defence.