Money laundering: Mopha’s Trial continues on 26 February

Money laundering: Mopha’s Trial continues on 26 February

Wednesday, January 15, 2020 6:11 pm

Ismaila Mustapha (alias Mompha )


Akin Kuponiyi

The trial of the  internet celebrity, Ismailia Mustapha, a. K. a Mompha, over alleged N32.9 billion fraud continued the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC)  led its fourth witness, Mathew Enu-Obun, in evidence.

Enu-Obun, a staff of the Special Control Unit Against Money Laundering of SCUML while been led in evidence by EFCC prosecutor Rotimi Oyedepo  told the court that looking at the transactions of 14 December 2015 to 25 January, 2018, by the defendants, there were no reports made.

He told the court that from available records, the said transactions were never reported  to SCUML, by the company Ismalob Global Investment Ltd, the second defendant in the criminal trial.

When Oyedepo asks the witness the person that signed exhibit C (a reply to the investigation activities on the defendant) he said “I signed it”

When asked under cross examination by defence counsel, Mr Gboyega Oyewole (SAN), to tell the court his years of service with the Commission,  witness told the court that he had been with SCUML for 14 years since 2006.

He further told the court  that he works in the Compliance  Department and had steadily moved from Compliance Officer two, one, to Senior Compliance Officer and now a Principal Compliance Officer.

Oyewole then asked the witness “So you have never been in the operations department” and the witness replied “No”.

When asked the full meaning of DNFI the witness replied that it stands for “Designated Non Financial Institutions”

He further explained that they are categories of businesses which are designated like Casino, Supermarkets, Chartered Accountants, and even lawyers.

He, however, said that designation was not required for operations involving finances, but cuts across some other aspects.

After the cross examination, the matter was adjourned to 26 February by 12 noon for continuation of trial.

Mompha is facing trial on 14 counts bordering on fraud, money laundering and running a foreign exchange business without the authorisation of the Central Bank of Nigeria.

He was arraigned alongside a limited liability company Ismalob Global Investment Ltd, they pleaded not guilty to the charges, and was granted bail in the sum of N100million with one surety in like sum.

The Anti graft agency accused the defendant of procuring Ismalob Global Investment Ltd and retaining in its account, an aggregate sum of N32.9 billion between 2015 and 2018.

In the charge, filed before the court EFCC alleged that Mompha laundered the sum of N32.9billion through Ismalob Global Investment Ltd, between 2015 and 2018.

Both defendants, were alleged to have negotiated foreign exchange transactions in various sums like N9.4million, N20 million, N10.4 million, N2.4million, N100million, N61million,  N40.7million, N42million among others.

Besides, Mompha, was alleged to have aided Ismalob to retain an aggregate sum of N 14 billion in its account, which was procured from Pitacalize Ltd.

The offences  alleged to have been committed by the defendants contravene the provisions of Sections 15(2) and 18(3) of the Money Laundering Prohibition Act 2011 as amended.

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