The Federal High Court Abuja has adjourned the ongoing trial of Chairman emeritus of DAAR communications PLC, Raymond Dokpesi until May 14 to enable him produce more documents in his defence.
At the resumed trial yesterday, counsel to Dokpesi, Mr Mike Ozekhome, SAN, asked the court for an adjournment to enable him subpoena documents from the presidency and some ministries.
Ozekhome told the court that they had previously written letters to the concerned offices but they had failed to honour the letters.
He said that following their failure to respond to their letters, they had to subpoena them in order to get the certified true copies of documents he needed to defend his client.
He named the offices to include the presidency, the ministry of information and culture and the office of the secretary to the government of the federation, among others.
Opposing the application for an adjournment, the prosecuting counsel, Mr Rotimi Jacobs, SAN, said that no sufficient reason had been given for an adjournment.
Jacobs added that, moreover, if such documents were really important in the defendant’s defence, the defence team should subpoena them or summon the offices to give evidence.
He urged the court to refuse the application for adjournment adding that no injustice would be done if the defendant gave his evidence and the prosecution cross examined him.
The trial judge, Justice John Tsoho adjourned the matter until May 14 and May 15 to enable the defendant acquire the certified true copies of the documents to aid him in defending his case.
Earlier, while being led in evidence by Ozekhome, Dokpesi told the court that after the media initiative was adopted in 1994, it was recommended that it should be handled by the office of the National Security Adviser.
He added that in 2014, the Jonathan administration saw a need for the media campaign to correct the bad image the country had with respect to the raging insurgency.
He said he was contacted by the Secretary to the Government of the Federation and a short extract was presented for a media campaign to rectify the image of the country adding that it was not a political campaign.
Dokpesi is being tried alongside his company, DAAR Investment and Holdings Ltd on a six- count charge bordering on procurement fraud and breach of public trust to the tune of N2.1 billion.
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A former Deputy National Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Chief Olabode George has urged federal government to relax the lockdown it imposed on Lagos State as a result of COVID- 19 pandemic.
George, who made the call in a statement in Lagos, yesterday said the lockdown imposed since March 29 was adversely affecting livelihoods and bringing up security challenges.
He said though government intended to curb the spread of the virus with the lockdown, the directive had left many Nigerians hungry at home without palliatives.
The PDP chieftain noted that there must be a balance between curbing the spread of the virus and protecting livelihoods and asked the government to relax the lockdown while putting safety measures in place.
“Everywhere in Lagos is now locked down. The markets, banking halls, the local grocery shops, the supermarkets, the transportation services are all halted, frozen by the federal government directives since March 29.
“On the surface level, the federal government’s position is to ensure safety, prevent communal spread of the virus and banish this scourge from our shores.
“Lagosians have been staying at home for about a month now. In a largely informal economy where most of our people depend on daily wages, the burden of lack of income is devastating.
“There is a natural growing anger in Lagos as the most vulnerable are ravaged with hunger,” George said.
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