Legal Nigeria

Court orders unfreezing of Dokpesi’s account

Lesi Nwisagbo

Raymond Dokpesi1
Raymond Dokpesi

The Federal High Court sitting in Abuja on Tuesday ordered the unfreezing of the bank account of the Chairman of Daar Communications, Raymond Dokpesi.

The Chief Judge of the court, Justice John Tsoho, held that the account should be unfrozen immediately since Dokpesi has been discharged and acquitted of the charge upon which the freezing order was made.

He also held that the government has no basis over the account in the face of the subsisting and valid judgment of the Court of Appeal in the matter.

Justice Tsoho noted that the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission has not applied for a stay of execution of the judgment of the Court of Appeal that invalidated the charge against Dokpesi.

Consequently, he ruled that his court was bound by law to give effect to the judgment of the appellate court.

The Chief Judge also stated that although the EFCC has filed a notice of appeal to the Supreme Court, such cannot stay the execution of the subsisting judgment as EFCC ought to have obtained a stay of execution.

The court also ordered that all the documents belonging to Dokpesi should be returned to him.

Recall that The PUNCH had earlier reported that Dokpesi had approached the court for an order to unfreeze his account and release documents in the court’s custody.

The counsel to Dokpesi, Kanu Agabi (SAN) had informed the court that the freezing of the account and the documents were connected to the charge of money laundering which had been quashed by the Court of Appeal.

However, the counsel to the EFCC, Oluwaleke Atolagbe had informed the court that they have also filed notice of appeal at the Supreme Court against the judgment of the Appeal Court.

The Court of Appeal, Abuja Division had in April 2021 quashed the N2.1 billion laundering charge filed against Dokpesi by the EFCC.

The appellate court had held that the EFCC had failed to establish a prima facie case against Dokpesi at the trial court.

The EFCC had preferred a seven-count against Dokpesi and accused him of fraudulently receiving N2.1 billion from the office of the National Security Adviser between October 2014 and March 2015.

At the trial court, Agabi had filed a no-case submission asking the court to dismiss the charge.

The trial judge, Justice Tsoho, had dismissed the no-case submission, causing Dokpesi to appeal.

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