Corruption and Underdevelopment

Mompha’s absence stalls trial for alleged money laundering

By Paul Michael

• Court adjourns till June 22

Trial of one Ismaila Mustapha, popularly known as Mompha, continues on June 22, 2022 before Justice Mojisola Dada of the Special Offences Court sitting in Ikeja, Lagos.

Mompha, alonside his company, Ismalob Global Investment Limited, is being prosecuted by the Economic and Financial Crimes (EFCC) on 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 unlawful act.

The Instagram celebrity had pleaded “not guilty” to the charges when read to him.

At the last sitting on Friday, June 10, 2022, the prosecuting counsel, Rotimi Oyedepo, had informed the court that investigation revealed that the defendant violated his bail term, as he was in possession of another passport aside the one he deposited to the court and which he used to travel from Ghana to Dubai.

The defence counsel, Gboyega Oyewole, SAN, had pleaded with the court to give him one week to investigate the allegation, arguing that it was only the Nigerian Immigration Service that could confirm the claim of another existing passport.

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When the case was called on Thursday, the defendant was absent, prompting the defence counsel to plead with the court for a stand down.

According to the defence counseling, “My lord, we pray for a stand down of this matter because we are working on a plea bargain.

“In addition to that, I am a little bit under the weather.

“The defendant will be present in court by the time we are back my lord.”

The prosecutor raised no objection for the application for a stand down.

However, after over two hours of a stand down, the defendant was still nowhere to be found.

Consequently, Justice Dada adjourned the case till June 22, 2022.

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