Justice Mojisola Dada of the Special Offences Court Sitting in Ikeja, Lagos, on Wednesday, adjourned till December 19, 2023 the case of Ismaila Mustapha (AKA) Mompha due to the absence of a prosecution witness.
Mompha, who is still at large, is standing trial in a case allegedly involving N6bn fraud alongside his company, Ismalob Global Investment Limited.
He was arraigned by the Lagos Zonal Command of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, on January 12, 2022 on eight-count charges.
The charges border 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 unlawful act.
One of the counts reads: “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 ( Five Billion Nine Hundred and Ninety-eight Million Eight Hundred and Eighty-four Thousand Six Hundred and Fifty-three Naira Eighteen Kobo), with the intent of promoting the carrying on of specified unlawful activities to wit: obtaining by false pretence.”
Meanwhile, at the last court proceedings on September 18, 2023, EFCC, through its third prosecution witness, PW3, Ayorinde Solademi, a staff of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, FBI, Office of Legal Attache, US Consulate, Lagos, had tendered a report by the USA-based FBI.
He also tenderd an investigative report on Mompha’s iPhone, which the agency claimed was used for fraudulent practices.
The defence counsel, Kolawole Salami had raised an objection to the admissibility of the two documents, arguing that they were public documents that were needed to be certified by the United States Consulate.
He said: “The documents are not a certified true copy, and should not be admitted in court.”
However, Justice Dada overruled the objection and upheld the submission of the prosecution that the documents were in their original state, stressing that, “the documents do not require certification”.
The witness further stated that under Cross examination, the FBI’s forensic operations revealed that Mompha’s iPhone was used to send account details to a United Arab Emirates telephone number; used to search for Swift Codes of a bank, and also had a compromised Microsoft 365 account.
He also said that Mompha’s iPhone, during analysis, was found to have also been used to change payment delivery from cheque to wire transfer, after a third attempt.
“The iPhone was used to make three attempts to transfer funds. The first two failed, but the third was successful,” he said.
The Judge had, thereafter, adjourned till November 1, 2023 (today) for continuation of trial.
However, during the proceedings today, counsel for the EFCC, Bilikisu Buhari, informed the court that the prosecution’s next witness was not in the country.
Consequently, Justice Dada adjourned the case till Tuesday, December 19, 2023 for continuation of trial.
Money Laundering: Court Adjourns Mompha’s Trial Due To Absence Of Prosecution Witness is first published on The Whistler Newspaper