From Godwin Tsa, Abuja
The Federal High Court has ordered the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), to remove the name of the founder of the African Independent Television (AIT), Raymond Dokpesi, from its watch list.
The Chief Judge of the Federal High Court, Justice John Tsoho, who made the order yesterday, held that there was no justification to keep Dokpesi on the watch list since there was no criminal charges or allegations pending against him.
Ruling in an application filed and argued by Chief Kanu Agabi SAN, on behalf of the AIT founder, the Chief Judge said that keeping Dokpesi on the watch list would amount to disobedience to the Court of Appeal judgment which, in April this year, quashed the N2.1 billion money laundering charges against Dokpesi.
The Court of Appeal sitting in Abuja had, on April 1, this year, dismissed the N2.1 billion laundering charges filed against Dokpesi by EFCC.
The appellate court had held that the ingredients of the offences were not provided by the prosecution as required by law.
The court had further held that EFCC failed to prove that the N2.1 billion allegedly received by the appellant as payment was a proceed of breach of trust.
A federal high court in Abuja had, in November, 2018, dismissed the no-case submission filed Dokpesi on the grounds that a prima facie had been established against him by the EFCC in the alleged N2.1 billion money laundering.
Not satisfied with the ruling of the high court, Dokpesi approached the Court of Appeal and asked that the ruling of the lower court be set aside and his no case submission be upheld.
Justice William-Dowodu, in a unanimous judgment in April 1, 2021, held that there was nothing in the evidence of the 14 witnesses called by EFCC, to persuade the court to compel the appellant to enter a defence in the charges where ingredients of the offence were not provided.