Witness Informs Court Of Discovery Of N35 Billion In Mompha’s Accounts

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Witness Informs Court Of Discovery Of N35 Billion In Mompha's Accounts

In the trial of Ismaila Mustapha, known as Mompha, on Monday, July 1, a witness informed Justice Mojisola Dada of the Special Offences Court in Ikeja, Lagos about the discovery of N35 billion allegedly found in two bank accounts connected to the defendant.

The Lagos Zonal Command of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) had brought Mompha to court on January 12, 2022.

He was charged alongside his company, Ismalob Global Investment Limited, with eight counts including conspiracy to launder funds obtained through unlawful activities, retention of proceeds of criminal conduct, money laundering, failure to disclose assets, possession of documents containing false pretences, and use of property derived from an unlawful act. 

One of the counts read, “Ismaila Mustapha, Ahmadu Mohammed (at large) and Ismalob Global Investment Limited, sometime in 2016, in Lagos, within the jurisdiction of this Honourable Court, conspired amongst yourselves to conduct financial transactions to the tune of N5,998,884,653.18 with the intent of promoting the carrying on of specified unlawful activities to wit: obtaining by false pretence.”

He pleaded “not guilty” to the charges when they were read to him.

On September 22, 2022, Justice Dada had ruled that Mompha’s trial would proceed in his absence after he absconded while on bail.

During Monday’s session, Idi Musa, the sixth prosecution witness and an investigator with the EFCC, testified under the guidance of the prosecution counsel, S. I. Suleiman. Musa detailed his familiarity with the first and second defendants during the EFCC’s investigation into alleged criminal activities.

He informed the court about receiving intelligence from the Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI), indicating that the first and second defendants were involved in cybercrime in the United States of America (USA). 

In his testimony, he said, “Sometime in 2019, we received intelligence from the FBI, USA. The letter was addressed to the commission, informing us that the first and second defendants were involved in cybercrime, otherwise known as Yahoo Yahoo.”

According to him, in the course of the investigation, some letters were written to two major banks requesting the account statements of the second defendant linked to the first defendant.

In his further testimony, he told the court that “The account statements were received and analysed. During the analysis, we discovered a heavy flow of N30bn through the account of the first defendant (Mompha) in one of the banks and about N5bn in another bank account.

“Letters were written to the FBI, and the Special Fraud Unit of the commission, regarding the defendant’s claim that he was into Bureau De change business, in view of the volume of these transactions. A letter was also written to the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN and other relevant agencies.”

He also told the court that the investigation revealed that the first defendant did not reside in Nigeria and that efforts to reach him proved abortive.

The witness said, “A letter was written to the Nigeria Immigration Services, on October 16, 2019, to arrest the defendant anytime he was seen in the country. On October 18, 2019, the first defendant got information that the Commission was looking for him, while he was in Nigeria. So, he quickly got to the airport and boarded a flight in order to jet out of the country to evade arrest.

“The team got the information through the NIS officers at the airport. By then, Mompha had already boarded the flight. So, they had to call him to come down and he was immediately arrested. He was subsequently handed over to the EFCC by the immigration officers.”

When asked about the findings regarding the defendant’s bank account, Musa said over N30bn was discovered, adding that “he told us that he was into Bureau De Change business. But investigation showed that he was not.

“We have already concluded investigations in that regard. The offences border on money laundering, operating BDC without a licence before a Federal High Court in Ikoyi, Lagos.”

He also told the court that a report from the FBI’s forensic analysis revealed that Mompha’s iPhone was used to send account details to a United Arab Emirates telephone number, which he used to search for Swift Codes of a bank.

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Mr Priceless
A young person with a passion for success and excellence to develop a professional career that encourages empowerment in the overall development of a person which is achieved through hard work. A Journalist with facts and a difference; standing by the truth all the time with interests in Science & Technology, Health, Celebrities' Lifestyle, Crimes, Education and Career Improvement.

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