A prosecution witness, Mr. Ayobami Oluwarinu, on Wednesday, narrated before the Federal High Court in Abuja, how Chairman emeritus of DAAR Communications Plc, High Chief Raymond Dokpesi, used N68million out of N2.1billion he allegedly received from the office of the National Security Adviser, ONSA, before the 2015 presidential election, to renovate his country home in Edo state.
The witness, a Lagos-based architect, said the defendant transferred N68,190,000 million into the accounts of his two firms, Archisynthesis Limited and Wood country Investment Limited, adding that the companies were engaged by Dokpesi to construct studios and renovate his country home in Edo State.
Archisynthesis is a design and building firm, while Wood Country Investment Limited is into general business and supplies. While being examined by the Prosecution Counsel, Oluwaleke Atolagbe, the witness told the court that he knew about the case when the EFCC invited him for questioning.
The witness however stated he was not aware of the source of the fund that was transferred to him, saying he got to know about money laundering allegation against the AIT founder after EFCC traced monies to his companies and invited him for questioning.
According to him, “I got a call from EFCC that I should come to its Abuja office and clarify the transactions that took place between my companies and DAAR investment Ltd”.
While insisting that he has been handling contracts for the defendant since 1993, Oluwarinu admitted that funds were transferred from accounts of DAAR Ltd to that of his firms.
EFCC’s lawyer, Mr. Oluwaleke Atolagbe tendered bank documents that revealed how the funds were sequentially transferred to the witness.
While identifying the documents as genuine, the PW-13, said: “My lord on January 26, 2015, the sum of N16. 1m was paid into Archisynthesis account from DAAR Investment and Holding Company Ltd.
“On 29th January 2015, another N3.5m was paid into Archisynthesis”.
He disclosed that whereas the sum of N3.53m was paid into Archisynthesis account on February 6, 2015, by the defendant, another inflow of N13.34m came in on February 17.
According to the PW-13, on March 28, 2015, another N12.25m was transferred from DAAR Ltd to the account of Archisynthesis, while N19.47m was transferred to Wood country on April 22, 2015. He maintained that all the monies were for design and construction, as well as for renovation works at Dokpesi’s home residence at Aghenegbode in Edo state.
“One of the studios work is in Kpaduma Asokoro Abuja. Others are located across the country, because I am his sole architect,” Oluwarinu said.
He admitted using the money for the renovation of Dokpesi’s home comprising of 4 bungalows, stating that, “Dokpesi gave me instructions in terms of the building, and I have been working for him since 1993”.
Asked if there was any documented agreement for the execution of the jobs, the witness said, “I cannot really recall whether we had oral or written agreement for all the jobs I did for him. This is because my relationship with the defendant is cordial and I have worked for him since 1993.
“The same thing goes for the studio construction”.
While being cross-examined by the defence counsel, Chief Kanu Agabi, SAN, the witness, said he did not border to enter into any contractual agreement with Dokpesi because of cordiality in their relationship.
Meanwhile, trial Justice, John Tsoho has adjourned further hearing on the matter till May 28.