The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has arrested former Chairman of Daar Communications Plc, Chief Raymond Dokpesi, and former Sokoto State Governor, Attahiru Bafarawa. Immediate past Minister of State for Finance, Ambassador Bashir Yuguda, is equally a guest of the anti-graft agency.
Dokpesi was picked up in Abuja at about noon today and was accompanied to the office of the EFCC by his son Raymond Dokpesi Jnr., who is the current Chairman of Daar Communications, operators of Africa Independent Television (AIT), RayPower FM and Faaji FM.
The Head of Media in the EFCC, Wilson Uwujaren, said that Chief Dokpesi was arrested in connection with money disbursed from the office of the former National Security Adviser (NSA), Sambo Dasuki, who was earlier today picked up by the Department of State Security (DSS).
Uwujaren said that there was no explanation about what the money was meant for and it was pathetic that the office of the NSA was used as “a warehouse to dish out money to people”.
He added that very worrisome is that this hard-earned money is taken from the coffers of the country.
Alhaji Bafarawa was arrested for the same reason and is being questioned for his alleged role in transferring money from the office of the erstwhile NSA from December 2014 to May 2015.
This is coming just as the former Minister of State for Finance, Ambassador Bashir Yuguda, is spending his second day with the EFCC.
Ambassador Yuguda is being quizzed for allegedly receiving suspicious payments from the office of the former NSA, who is being investigated over two billion dollar arms deal.
Some of the monies allegedly traced to Ambassador Yuguda include 1.2 billion naira paid to him for unclear reasons.
He is alleged to have also received 775 million naira from the office of the Accountant General and another 1.275 billion naira from Stallion Group.
In a swift reaction, Chief Mike Ozekhome (SAN), lawyer to Dokpesi, described the arrest of his client as evidence of a return to authoritarian regime. He disclosed that only last week Daar Communications Holdings, not Dokpesi, was invited by the EFCC to explain alleged contracts to the company from the office of the former NSA and that tax payments and other documents should be supplied to EFCC.
He said that as far he knew, no contract was gotten from the office of the NSA but that he sent a lawyer from his chamber, Barrister Justine Omogbemeh, to accompany Dokpesi to the EFCC office.
“I do not regard this as an arrest. If you are invited by the EFCC that is not the same thing as an arrest. We got this information through a mere phone call. There is no warrant of arrest and as a well-respected obedient nationalist, Chief Dokpesi decided to go and answer the invitation,” he said.