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Again, absence of defence counsel stalls Dokpesi’s N2.1bn fraud trial

The trial of the pioneer Chairman of DAAR Communications Plc, Raymond Dokpesi, which resumed today, May 9, 2019 before Justice John Tsoho of a Federal High Court, Abuja, has been adjourned to July 2 and 3, 2019 due to the absence of the lead counsel, Kanu Agabi, SAN. Agabi sent in a letter to the court requesting for an adjournment.

His absence had earlier stalled the trial on February 20, 2019. Agabi had sent in a letter informing the court that he was bereaved, and prayed the court for an adjournment to April 21 to 24, 2019.

Counsel for the EFCC, Rotimi Jacobs, SAN had vehemently opposed Agabi’s proposed “two-month” adjournment, but the trial judge, considered it and fixed May 9, 2019 for the defence to open its case.

However, at the resumed sitting today, prosecuting counsel, Oluwaleke Atolagbe, informed the court that he received a letter from Agabi, asking for yet another adjournment.

Atolagbe said: “The defendants were meant to open their defence, but a letter was written asking for an adjournment from February 20, 2019 and again the defence counsel has written another letter asking for an adjournment to July 2 and 3, 2019.”

Atolagbe argued that the defence “has several eminent Senior Advocates of Nigeria representing him, Wole Olanipekun (SAN), Dayo Akinlaja (SAN) and many others who can take up the case”.

He further stressed that the prosecution reluctantly conceded to the earlier adjournment.

Dasuki is facing a six-count charge along with DAAR Investment and Holdings Limited, owners of African Independent Television and Raypower FM, for allegedly receiving N2.1 billion from the Office of the National Security Adviser, for services not rendered. He had on November 21, 2018 lost his “no-case” submission, with the trial judge ordering him to open his defence.

Dele Fashomi
Dele Fashomi, seasoned journalist and communication teacher, is a holder of Master of Arts degree in Communication and Language Arts from the University of Ibadan in 1992/93. Earlier, he had bagged a Bachelor degree from the same university in 1984, after which he proceeded to the Nigerian Institute of Journalism, Lagos, in 1990, for a postgraduate diploma in Journalism. He had done many courses in communication, including the EU-BBC Editing Course in 2002. Mr. Fashomi combines effectively the practice, research and teaching of communication. And to date, he has published two academic works in communication: Issues in Communication Technology and Policy (2010) and Economic and Social Issues in Advertising and PR (2013). He had his first break in the Nigerian media in Concord Newspapers in 1990 and today, he has over two and half decades experience earned in several newspapers. He has been part of many start-ups, such as The Republic (1987), The Comet (1999), The Anchor 2001 - 2002; Sun Newspapers (2003); Westerner newsmagazine (2005 - 2010) as Editor; National Life (2011) as Sunday Editor, and Newswatch Newspapers (2012- 2016) as Daily Editor. Dele Fashomi is now the Publisher/Editor-in-Chief of newspaper online, which he started in July 2015. He is also into biography writing, with many books in his trail, some of which he wrote alone and one he co- authored with his mentor, Mr Dare Babarinsa, entitled:  Olabiyi Durojaiye - DARE TO BE DiFFERENT. He also guided and collaborated with Pa Olatunji Odusanya in writing his autobiography - AGAINST ALL ODDS. There are many other books in the works under his pen.