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Alleged N6bn Fraud: Court Fixes July 23 For Mompha’s Trial

The Special Offences Court sitting in Ikeja, Lagos has fixed July 23 for the trial of social media celebrity, Ismaila Mustapha, popularly known as Mompha in the alleged N6 billion money laundering case brought against him by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC). 

Justice Mojisola Dada fixed the new date for trial following information made available to the court that Mompha had been arrested.

Ismaila Mustapha is facing an eight-count charge bordering on conspiracy to launder funds obtained through unlawful activity, retention of proceeds of criminal conduct, laundering of funds obtained through unlawful activity, failure to disclose assets and property, possession of documents containing false pretence and use of property derived from an unlawful act.

At the proceedings on Monday, the EFCC’s prosecuting counsel, Sulaiman Sulaiman told the court that the agency’s international partners had succeeded in arresting Mompha.

Sulaiman also informed the court that the defendant is not yet in the custody of the EFCC in Lagos.

He asked the court for a new date for trial while assuring that the defendant would be in court by the next adjourned date.

Counsel to the defendant, Gboyega Oyewole (SAN) was however absent in court.

Justice Dada granted the request of the prosecution and fixed July 23 for trial.

At the proceedings of November 16 and 22, 2022, the absence of the defence counsel stalled the defendant’s trial before the court.

At a previous proceeding on September 22, 2022, Justice Dada had ordered that the trial of Mompha will continue in absentia following failed efforts by the EFCC to arrest him after he jumped bail.

Mompha was arrested on January 10, 2022 by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, and arraigned on Jan. 12 alongside his company, Ismalob Global Investment Limited, an 8-count charge of alleged money laundering of over N6billion.

In the counts, the defendants were accused of conspiracy to launder funds obtained through unlawful activity, retention of such funds, transfer of funds for a suspect Olayinka Jimoh popularly known as Nappy Boy, and unlawful transfer of funds for a record label, among others.

The EFCC also alleged that Mompha concealed his interest in expensive wristwatches and other movable assets valued at over N70 million.

The offence is contrary to relevant sections of the Advance Fee Fraud Act of 2006 and the EFCC Act of 2004.

Mompha pleaded not guilty to the eight counts. He also pleaded not guilty to the first six counts on behalf of his company, Islamob Limited.

On January 18, he was admitted to bail in the sum of N200 million with two sureties in like sum, one of the sureties, the judge ordered must own property valued at N100 million within the jurisdiction of the court.

The court also ordered the defendant to return his international passport to the custody of the court while ordering his remand in any Correctional Centre of his choice in Lagos pending the perfection of the bail conditions.

On March 28, he was released to his lawyer, Gboyega Oyewole (SAN) shortly after the court varied his bail conditions.

Since then, he has failed to appear in court on at least three scheduled dates for his trial.

On June 10, the EFCC accused him of flouting the court’s order by travelling to Dubai with a new international passport.

On June 22, the court issued a bench warrant for his arrest following his continued failure to present himself for his trial.

The court also revoked the bail it granted the defendant.

This is the second case in which the EFCC is charging Mompha. He is also standing trial at the Federal High Court in Lagos on an amended 22-count charge bordering on cyberfraud and money laundering to the tune of N32.9m

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