A Federal High Court in Abuja on Friday ordered the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission to produce former Chairman of DAAR Communications Plc, Chief Raymond Dokpesi, before it on December 14.
Justice Gabriel Kolawole granted the order in his ruling on an ex parte application filed by Dokpesi’s lawyer, Chief Mike Ozekhome (SAN), on Friday.
The proceedings, during which the judge granted order on Friday, held in the judge’s chambers and not in the open court. Ozekhome, who informed journalists of the outcome of the proceedings, said the judge also ordered the EFCC to appear in court to show cause why he should not grant Dokpesi’s prayer for unconditional or conditional bail.
Ozekhome argued on Friday that his client had been unlawfully detained by the EFCC beyond 48 hours.
Dokpesi, through his lawyer had in the application, prayed for an order compelling the EFCC to produce him in its custody “or any other place of detention before this court on the date this application comes up for hearing.”
He also sought “an order admitting the applicant to bail on self recognition or on such favourable and liberal terms as this court may deem fit to make in the circumstances of this case, pending the formal arraignment of the applicant before a court of law.”
His prayers were anchored on the grounds that no charges had been formally instituted against him, over 48 hours after his detention.
The applicant said he went to honour a verbal invitation from officials of the EFCC on December 1 and had been detained since then after subjecting him to hours of “unprepared interrogation.”
He argued that the offences alleged against him “are ordinarily bailable.”
He promised not to jump bail, not to interfere with witnesses or the course of justice if any formal charge was filed against him.
Dokpesi said, with his social status, the court could grant him bail on liberal terms. Or on self recognition as he has no criminal antecedents or record. He promised to attend court if eventually he is formally arraigned.
In a supporting affidavit, the applicant said he was arrested over his inability to honour an invitation by the office of the National Security Adviser (NSA) inviting Daar Investment and Holding Limited (an arm of Daar Communications Ltd) “for discussion on the supply and services rendered to the Office of the NSA.”
He stated that while he had yet to perfect the bail granted him by the EFCC “on the most onerous,” it went before a Magistrate’s Court to procure an order to legitimise and further detain him.[Punch]