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Re-arrested: Mompha faces trial for N6.5bn fraud as EFCC sets July 23 date

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The Lagos State Special Offences Court, presided over by Justice Mojisola Dada, has scheduled July 23 for the trial of social media personality, Ismailia Mustapha, popularly known as Mompha, in connection with an alleged N6.5 billion money laundering case.

The court fixed the date following the re-arrest of Mompha by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) after he had previously jumped bail. Mompha, along with his firm, Ismalob Global Investment Limited, is accused of conspiring to launder funds obtained through unlawful activities.

According to the EFCC, the defendant retained the laundered funds and facilitated their transfer to a suspect identified as Olayinka Jimoh, also known as Nappy Boy, as well as engaging in the illegal transfer of funds for a record label, among other allegations.

The anti-graft agency disclosed that the defendant was involved in the laundering of various sums, including N5,998,884,653.18, N32 million, N120 million, and N15,960,000, amounting to over N6.5 billion.

Furthermore, the commission alleges that Mompha concealed his ownership of inexpensive wristwatches and other movable assets valued at over N70 million.

Although the defendant pleaded not guilty to the eight counts, Islamob Limited, represented by Mompha, also entered a not guilty plea to the first six counts.

During the latest hearing, the EFCC informed the court that its international partners had successfully re-arrested Mompha, but he is not yet in custody in Lagos. The prosecution requested a new trial date, assuring that the defendant would be present in court on the next adjourned date.

Notably, the defense counsel, Gboyega Oyewole (SAN), was absent from the proceedings. Consequently, Justice Dada granted the prosecution’s request and set July 23 for the trial.

Previous instances of the defendant’s trial were marred by the absence of the defense counsel. On September 22, 2022, Justice Dada ordered that the trial proceed in absentia after the EFCC’s failed attempts to arrest Mompha for jumping bail.

Additionally, on June 10, 2022, the court revoked the defendant’s bail but released him to his counsel, who requested one week to investigate the prosecution’s claim that Mompha had obtained a new passport different from the one submitted to the court as a condition for his bail. The prosecution alleged that the defendant used the new passport to travel from Ghana to Dubai, thereby violating the terms of his bail.

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