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It was dramatic at the Federal High Court, Abuja, on Wednesday, October 19, as the prosecution witness in the on-going trial of the founder of Daar Communications and Holdings Plc, Raymond Dokpesi, turned against the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC.
The witness, Aliyu Mohammed, a Staff of the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, and Manager of its payment section, said disbursements made to Daar Communications, were in conformity with the due process for such by his office.
Recall, that Dokpesi is facing trial for alleged involvement in the diversion of billions of Naira, meant for the purchase of arms by the former National Security Adviser, NSA, Sambo Dasuki.
Mr. Mohammed, had said during examination by prosecution Counsel, Rotimi Jacobs, that disbursements of funds follow a given procedure, where verification 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.
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 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 Dokpesi, Wole Olanipekun (SAN), Mohammed said similar disbursements are currently on-going at the CBN, from payments instruments passed on to his office in the same manner, as was done under Dasuki.
The following conversation ensued between the defence Counsel and the prosecution witness:
Olanipekun: Did you follow the due process before the account was opened for the said payments?
Mohammed: Yes we did.

Olanipekun: Are Dasuki and Salisu still the signatories now?
Mohammed: No. It is the present NSA, and his Director of Finance.
Olanipekun: While the signatories to the account have changed. The procedure for payment is still the same. Are you still following the same procedure?
Mohammed: Yes we are following the same procedure.
Olanipekun: Apart from the authorised signatories. You also have another column to show that the payments were duly confirmed.
Mohammed: There is provision for confirmation before me.
Mohammed, then explained that other payment instruments, were contained in the same documents, as those used for transfer of funds to Daar Communications presented in court.
He said N2 billion was paid to a company, A. R. Security Solutions, for personnel support, while N500 million was paid to Dalhatu Investments, for equipment’s procurement.
He added, that over N600 million was paid to fund the Presidential Air fleet, while N13.6 million, was also paid for supply of rice, to Internally Displaced Persons, IDPs.
Another payment of N75 million was also made to ‘CinC’ Security Department.
Other payments were made to accounts belonging to various beneficiaries, including: Onile Nigeria Ltd, which received N200 million for consultancy services: Vibrant Resources Ltd, N450 million for security service; and Jawaz Multipurpose E-Venture Ltd, which received N148 million as payment for supply of security equipment.
Several other beneficiaries were also paid based on Mr. Dasuki’s instructions, he said. These include, General Hydrocarbon Ltd, whose account was credited with N100 million, as payment for energy consulting, and another sum of N293.5, million, which was said to have been paid from funds belonging to the NSA, for de-radicalisation project.
Another N400 million, was also paid to Coose Ltd, for supply of security equipment, said Mr. Mohammed.
Asked whether the payments made were all legitimate, Mr. Mohammed responded in the affirmative.
Olanipekun: All the payments on the vouchers are legitimate.
Mohammed: Yes sir; they are.
The prosecution Counsel, Jacobs, visibly surprised by his witness’ testimony, attempted to question Mohammed, based on his last response; but the defence Counsel objected.

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