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Chief Judge re-assigns case against Dokpesi to another Judge; as FG reopens Orji Kalu’s trial

High Chief Dokpesi in court, Monday
High Chief Dokpesi in court, Monday
Chief Judge of the Federal High Court, Justice Ibrahim Auta, has re-assigned the case file of former Chairman of DAAR Communications Plc, High Chief Raymond Dokpesi, to a new judge.
The Chief Judge did not give any reason for collecting the case file from Justice Gabriel Kolawole and re-assigning it to Justice John Tsoho‎.
Following the re-assignment, the six-count charges were again read to Dokpesi who pleaded not guilty.
Dokpesi was earlier arraigned before Justice Gabriel Kolawale on December 9, 2015 for alleged breach of the Public Procurement Act.
He pleaded not guilty to the entire six-count charge before Justice Kolawole and the matter was slated for February 17, 18 and March 2 and 3, 2016, to begin hearing on the substantive charge before the court.
After Dokpesi pleaded not guilty, his lead counsel, Chief Wole Olanipekun, SAN prayed the court to allow him continue to enjoy the bail earlier granted him by Justice Kolawole.
Meanwhile, the Federal Government on Wednesday reopened the trial of former Abia State governor, Orji Uzor Kalu.
The ex-governor is standing trial on a 107-count charge of money laundering, official corruption and criminal diversion of public funds in excess of N5 billion.
The office of the Attorney General of the Federation (AGF) had earlier written to the Federal High Court, Abuja, to get a fresh hearing date on the case which started in 2007.
In response to the letter from the OAGF, the court listed the case for mention on Wednesday.
When the case reopened on Wednesday, the prosecution was represented in court by Rotimi Jacobs (SAN), while the defence has no representation.
Kalu was first arraigned by the Economic Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) on July 27, 2007.
He approached the Court of Appeal to set aside the ruling of the Federal High Court that he had a case to answer.
The appellate court dismissed the appeal for lack of merit and gave the Economic Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) the nod to prosecute him, a decision he later appealed at the Supreme Court.

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