Arms Deal: EFCC Puts ex-DSS Boss, Kayode Are Under House Arrest, Detains Dokpesi, Others

Raymond DokpesiInformation available to The Street Reporters indicates that shooting was heard Wednesday afternoon at the Lagos home of former Director General of the Department of State Services (DSS), Lateef Kayode Are, who has been placed under house arrest.

But it was not clear if the gunshots were in connection with the house arrest as at press time but sources around his Bourdillon Road, Ikoyi home noted that gunshots were heard at the area.

Are was said to have been placed under house arrest by the Econimic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) as the anti-graft agency continued probe into an alleged arms procurement scandal.

Are is a retired Nigerian Army Colonel, who served as an officer in the Directorate of Military Intelligence up until his retirement by General Sani Abacha.

Are was appointed as DSS boss by President Olusegun Obasanjo and he served in that position throughout President Obasanjo’s two terms (1999-2007), and was replaced by Afakiriya Gadzama, who was appointed in August 2007 by President Umaru Yar’Adua.

This is even as the founder of Daar Communications Plc, owner of Raypower FM and the African Independent Television (AIT), Chief Raymond Dokpesi, and a former governor of Sokoto State, Alhaji Attahiru Bafarawa, have been detained over the alleged arms deal.

The EFCC and the DSS had a field day yesterday arresting and detaining persons connected with the alleged misappropriation of $2.2 billion meant for the procurement of arms and military hardware meant for the prosecution of the war against insurgency.¨

First, operatives of the Department of State Services (DSS) picked up the former National SecurSambo Dasukiity Adviser (NSA), Col.  Sambo Dasuki(rtd),  from his residence, where he had been under house arrest for three weeks, and moved him to their office in Abuja for interrogation and detention in connection with the arms deal.

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Dokpesi, who was detained by the EFCC, was informally invited via a phone call to the commission’s office which he honoured.

The lawyer to the Chairman of Africa Independent Television (AIT), Raymond Dokpesi has denied reports that his client was arrested by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).

Chief Mike Ozekhome (SAN) disclosed that Dokpesi was invited by the EFCC and he honoured the invitation willingly.

“Chief Dokpesi was not arrested but invited by the EFCC. He went there on his own volition, voluntarily upon a mere phone call, asking him to see the acting chairman of the EFCC, Ibrahim Magu,” Ozekhome said.

“The EFCC was trying to find out if there was any contract awarded to one of the firms under Daar Holdings from the office of the NSA. The firm later replied that there was no such contract in its record.

“The commission later demanded for the list of directors and same was made available to the agency. One of our lawyers accompanied Dokpesi to the EFCC and I believe that he will be released once he is through with the questioning,” he added.

Earlier reports had it that Dokpesi was arrested by the EFCC for allegedly receiving N2.1 billion out of a total sum of $2 billion which was meant for the procurement of arms for Nigeria’s military but was allegedly diverted by former National Security Adviser (NSA), Sambo Dasuki.

The Dokpesi family in a statement on Wednesday said no money for arms was paid to Dokesi, insisting that his company only received payment for media services.

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However, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has said it was aware that more notable PDP leaders had been listed for arrest over unproven allegations pursuant to the plot by the All Progressives Congress (APC) to cow and silence opposition in Nigeria.

In a statement on Tuesday by the spokesman for the PDP, Mr Olisa Metuh, the opposition party said the military style of pronouncement of guilt on Chief Dokpesi before any fair hearing, showed he was a victim of political persecution and mob trial by the APC government because of his association with the PDP.

Mr Dokpesi  was arrested on Tuesday by  the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission.

He was picked up in Abuja at about noon on Tuesday and was accompanied to the office of the EFCC by his son Raymond Dokpesi Jnr., who is the current Chairman of Daar Communications.

The Head of Media in the EFCC, Wilson Uwujaren, told Channels Television that Chief Dokpesi was arrested in connection with money disbursed from the office of the former National Security Adviser, Sambo Dasuki.

But the PDP said his arrest was an attempt to clamp-down on opposition and the media.

“Growing Impunity”

“While the PDP is not against the war against corruption, we insist that the crusade must be carried out within the limits of the law and not as a guise to persecute and torture opposition elements in the country.

“Our fear is that with the pronouncement of guilt even without being giving the opportunity within his rights as a citizen to state his own side of the story, the President Buhari-led government is sidestepping the laws to ensure that Chief Dokpesi does not get justice in the court, a plot which they want to extend to other PDP leaders.

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“The PDP therefore demands an open and public trial of all those arrested so that all issues and charges against them as well as their defence therein would also be in the public domain. We demand a proper investigation and lawful prosecution instead of the reprehensible resort to outright political persecution, which can only have a place in a military regime.

“We also note that this development may not be unconnected with the planned onslaught against the media, following its commitment in holding this dictatorial regime accountable since it took office,” the statement read.

The PDP further called on the international community and rights bodies worldwide to note what it called “growing impunity and gross violation of human rights by the President Muhammadu Buhari-led government tailored to decimate the opposition and cow the media in Nigeria”.

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