By Francis IWUCHUKWU
An Ikeja Special Offences Court was on Friday told that a social media celebrity, Ismaila Mustapha (alias Mompha) flouted the court order and travelled to Dubai with a new international passport.
The information was made known by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC,
Mompha is being prosecuted for money laundering to the tune of N6bn by the Commission.
It would be recalled that the court had on March 28, ordered Mompha to submit his international passport to court after his bail sum was reduced from N200 million to N25 million
EFCC, on January 12, charged Mompha and his company, Ismalob Global Investment Ltd, with N6bn money laundering.
The eight-count charge includes conspiracy to launder money obtained through unlawful activities, and laundering of money obtained through unlawful activities.
The other charges include retention of proceeds of criminal conduct, use of property derived from unlawful act, possession of document containing false pretences and failure to disclose assets.
On Friday, the EFCC counsel, Rotimi Oyedepo, who informed the court that the parties did not come to a conclusion, added that the defendant hired an Emirate Airline and travelled to Abuja after he had submitted his international passport on the order of the court.
According to Oyedepo, “My lord granted bail to the defendant and ordered him to submit his International Passport.
“The Commission is not the only one on this matter, and we had from a good authority that the defendant has a passport with No. D50084304 which was issued in Abuja on July 2021 and is to expire on June 30, 2031.
“From the information by our partner, the defendant had on April 11 hired emirate and flew from Ghana to Dubai. That passport is not the one submitted to this honourable court my lord.
“The defendant did not travel through Nigeria. The issue now is that the defendant has a new passport at hand which he travelled with after my lord restrict him from travelling.”
The Defence counsel, Mr Gboyega Oyewole, SAN, however, objected to the submission of the prosecution and argued that EFCC should write to the Nigeria Immigration to ascertain the claim.
Oyewole said: “I have spoken with the prosecution concerning this my lord. When he called, I told him that there was a particular person who was our surety that was supposed to pay the N25 million.
“His account was frozen when the money got into his account. The man called the defendant and for the defendant’s safety, he told the man that he had travelled. But the man has connection and concluded that the defendant has defiled the court order.
“My lord, the EFCC should write to Immigration to ascertain if my client really travelled out of the country or not.
“This is a superior court of record sir and I suggest that an application be brought concerning this because there is a lot of confusion here. We should have it on record my lord.
“Let Immigration respond if another passport exists. The residency visa that he has to live in Dubai is already submitted in court, so there is no way he can enter the country,”
Meanwhile, a photocopy of the said passport was shown to the defendant, and he denied the signature on it.
The court, presided over by Justice Mojisola Dada adjourned to June 16, 2022 for further consideration on bail application and ordered the defendant to be in the custody of the defence counsel.
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