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CBN Staff Narrates How N2.1bn Was Paid To Dokpesi From ONSA

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has presented its first witness, PW1, Mukados Mohammed, against former Chairman, Daar Communications Plc, Chief Raymond Dokpesi, before Justice John Tsoho of the Federal High Court sitting in Maitama, Abuja.

Dokpesi and his firm, Daar Investment Holdings Limited, are being prosecuted on charges relating to the sum of N2.1bn he allegedly received from the Office of National Security Adviser, ONSA, between October 2014 and March, 2015 for the Peoples Democratic Party’s presidential media campaign.

Led by the lead prosecuting counsel, Rotimi Jacobs, SAN, Mohammed, a manager in the payment department of the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, narrated how the N2.1billion was paid to Dokpesi between January 21, 2015 and March 19, 2015.

Mr. Mohammed had said during examination by prosecution counsel, Rotimi Jacobs, that disbursements of funds follow a given procedure where verifications for payment-instruments are made before they are finally authorised.

“The procedure for payment is such that the paying organisation will bring the payment instrument through an officer authorised to do so. The officer will confirm the mandate before us by writing his name, signature, status, phone number and thumbprint as well as the date. After we receive it, it will be passed for verification.

“The verification will include cheque of the authorised signatories of that account, (operators of the account). The mandate must also be written in a letter headed-paper. The date and account number to be debited will also be included.

 “After the verification exercise we will check whether they have complied with all due processes for the payment. We will then pass it for payment and debit the account stated in the mandate while crediting the beneficiary accordingly,” he said.

Mr. Mohammed added that his office had authorised the disbursements of over N2 billion in four trenches to Daar Communications from payment-instruments forwarded to them, (CBN) by the office of the NSA, early last year.

He said the payment mandates received from the office of the NSA were signed by Mr. Dasuki and the Director of Finance at the NSA, S. A. Salisu.

The payments were for the purposes of media campaign by Daar communications, he said.

During cross-examination by counsel to Mr. Dokpesi, Wole Olanipekun, Mr. Mohammed said similar disbursements are currently ongoing at the CBN, from payments instruments passed on to his office in the same manner, as was done under Mr. Dasuki.

The following conversation ensued between the defence counsel and the prosecution witness:

Mr. Olanipekun: Did you follow the due process before the account was opened for the said payments?

Mr. Mohammed: Yes we did.

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