Raymond Dokpesi, founder of Daar Communication, owners of Ray Power radio network and Africa Independent Television, has said the money he received from the office of the National Security Adviser during the administration of Goodluck Jonathan was payment for media and political campaign for the 2015 general election.
Mr. Dokpesi was questioned by the Economic and Financial Crime Commission on Tuesday over the N2.1 billion he allegedly received from the office of the NSA.
The Nigerian government has made high profile arrests in connection with alleged diversion of billions of naira meant for procurement of arms for the fight against Boko Haram.
A former National Security Adviser, Sambo Dasuki, is among those arrested.
Mr. Dokpesi’s lawyer, Mike Ozekhome, had earlier told PREMIUM TIMES his client had written to the EFCC informing the anti-graft body it never did business with the NSA’s office.
“What I know is that the EFCC wrote to Daar Holdings asking for a list of directors and whether it has done any business or contract with the office of the NSA in the past and how much was involved,” the lawyer said in a telephone interview.
“We wrote them a reply to say Daar did not do any contract with the office of the NSA and we are ready to give them all the information they need,” he said.
But according to the News magazine, Mr. Dokpesi, in statement released by his company on Wednesday, explained he was invited by the chairman of the EFCC, Ibrahim Magu, to “shed more light on some payments that were made to him through the office of the erstwhile National Security Adviser to the former President, Malam Sambo Dasuki”.
“Dokpesi explained to the EFCC officials that the N2.1 billion that he collected from the former NSA was payment for publicity and media political campaigns during the 2015 General Elections,” the paper quoted the statement as saying.
Mr. Dokpesi “made his statement on the various media exposures and campaign transactions which were dutifully carried out based essentially on contractual obligations/relationship”, the statement added.
The statement was however silent on why Mr. Dokpesi received payment for a political media campaign, which ordinarily should have been the prerogative of the Peoples Democratic Party (Mr Jonathan’s party), from the office of the NSA.
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 investigation is still on-going and more senior officials in the last administration are expected to be quizzed on the disbursement and spending of the monies.