The family of the founder of Daar Communications PLC, owners of Raypower and AIT broadcast stations, Raymond Dokpesi, on Saturday said the N2.1 billion received by their patriarch from a former National Security Adviser, NSA, Sambo Dasuki was not for political campaigns.
Mr. Dokpesi is currently in detention at the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, which is investigating how over $2.2 billion dollars budgeted for arms procurement were spent.
Shortly after his arrest, Mr. Dokpesi’s company had issued a statement saying the money he received was for “publicity and media political campaigns during the 2015 general elections”.
The statement added that Mr. Dokpesi had explained to EFCC investigators that the funds were for “the various media exposures and campaign transactions which were dutifully carried out based essentially on contractual obligations/relationship”.
But on Saturday, Mr. Dokpesi’s family issued another statement on the ordeal of their patriarch, denying the funds were for political campaigns.
“We will like to make it abundantly clear that Dr. Dokpesi’s Daar Investment and Holdings Company Ltd, developed a proposal presented to the Former President Goodluck Jonathan proposing a Multi Media Strategic Development Support Project to promote and project the achievements and highlight the challenges of his government whilst demystifying false information gleefully circulated by the propaganda machinery of the then opposition party,” the family said via a statement signed by Raymond Dokpesi Jnr.
The statement also said the proposal was submitted to the former President in person by Mr. Dokpesi and his team in the presence of the former Vice President, Namadi Sambo, at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.
“We must further emphasize that the proposal had absolutely nothing to do with the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), nor the Presidential Campaign Council (PCC),” the family said.
The statement said the proposal was “thoroughly studied, approved and paid for by the Presidency through the office of the National Security Adviser” which “has multiple budgetary sub-heads including for communication and information”.
The family argued that the proposal was aimed at the promotion and propagation of information to sustain and stabilize the government.
Mr. Dokpesi Jnr said his family was shocked that President Buhari, who claimed to have been popularly elected about six months ago, would embark on a “wide scale propaganda, misinformation and brazen falsehood just to achieve its objective of decimating its perceived political opponents and supporters of the previous administration”.
The statement said Mr. Dokpesi remained a law-abiding and consummate patriot “who has served Nigeria to the best of his ability”.
“For the avoidance of doubt, Dr. Dokpesi has never applied nor bidded for a contract for the purchase of arms, nor has he ever been registered with the Ministry of Defence for the similar objective of engaging in the supply of arms for the government,” the family said.
They said they are confident that the media mogul would be exonerated at the end of the day.
The Dokpesi then called on the Buhari administration to rigorously investigate all political and economic crimes “before embarking on a media trial and sentencing even before the law courts of Nigeria have an opportunity to adjudicate”.
Following an interim report released by a presidential committee investigating arms procurement in the last administration, which revealed extra-judicial spending of up to N643.8 billion and a further $2.2 billion, the EFCC set up a special panel to probe how the monies were spent.
The EFCC, in the past week, made high profile arrests in connection with the matter.
The investigation is still ongoing and more senior officials of the last administration are expected to be quizzed on the disbursement and spending of the monies.