Gabriel Kolawole, justice of the federal high court, Abuja, has granted Raymond Dokpesi, founder of DAAR Communications Plc, bail in the sum N200m and two sureties in like sum.
According to the judge, one of sureties must be a director in the civil service while the defendant must deposit his international passport with the court.
The court further ruled that Dokpesi be kept at Kuje prison, Abuja, pending the perfection of the conditions of his bail.
Kolawole faulted the argument of the prosecution led by Rotimi Jacobs (SAN) – who said Dokpesi was facing an indictable felony charge and should should be kept behind bars – against the bail application of Mike Ozekhome (SAN), Dokpesi’s lawyer, on the grounds that an accused person is presumed innocent until proven guilty.
The judge held that it was only in capital offences like murder that the court could deny granting bail to the accused person, reports TheCable.
He further stated that the maximum penalty for the offence the defendant was alleged to have committed was seven years imprisonment, which he added was minimal in relation to penalties for capital offences.
Kolawole further stated that the prosecution had not proved that the accused person was a flight risk; hence therefore no cause to deny him bail.
He also gave an order restraining the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) from whittling down the bail granted Dokpesi by arresting him extra-judicially.
Dokpesi last Thursday, failed in his bid to regain freedom after being docked for a six-count charge bordering on alleged procurement fraud and breach of public trust to the tune of N2.1bn.
The media mogul is facing prosecution by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) for allegedly receiving the sum of N2.1bn from the office of the national security adviser (NSA), for Peoples Democratic Party’s (PDP) presidential media campaign.
The money was allegedly disbursed from funds earmarked for the procurement of arms for the fight of insurgency.
He was arraigned alongside his firm, DAAR Investment and Holdings Limited, owners of African Independent Television, AIT and Raypower FM.
The funds which were allegedly released to the accused persons between October, 2014 and March 19, 2015 were allegedly transferred from an account the office of the NSA operated with the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), to a First Bank of Nigeria Plc account owned by DAAR Investment and Holding Company Limited.
According to the EFCC, the offence was a breach of section 58 (4) (b) of the Public Procurement Act 2007 and punishable under section 58 (6) and (7) of the same Act, as well as under Section 17 (b) of the EFCC Act, 2004.
One of the counts read: “That you Dr. Raymond Dokpesi and Daar Investment and Holding Company Limited between October 2014 and March 19, 2015 in Abuja, conducted procurement fraud by means of fraudulent and corrupt act, to wit: receipt of payment into the account of Daar Investment and Holding Company Limited with First Bank of Nigeria Plc of public funds in the sum of N2,120,000,000 from the account of the office of National Security Adviser (NSA) with the Central Bank of Nigeria for the funding of media activities for the 2015 presidential election campaign for the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and you thereby committed an offence contrary to section 58 (4) (b) of the Public Procurement Act, 2007 and punishable under Section 58 (6) & (7) of the same Act”.
The accused had pleaded not guilty to all the counts preferred against him.