Alleged Fraud: EFCC Re-Arraigns Mompha On Amended Charges
The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has introduced new counts into the charge against internet celebrity, Ismaila Mustapha popularly known as Mompha.
He was re-arraigned today at the Federal High Court Lagos, on amended 22 counts which now includes offenses of making false statements to officials of the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS), and engaging in foreign exchange transactions other than through the foreign exchange market.
He pleaded not guilty to all the charges.
After his plea, his counsel, Mr. Gboyega Oyewole (SAN) asked the court to grant a short adjournment to enable him to study the new charge.
He told the court that he had only seen the new charge a few minutes before the court commenced sitting and consequently, urged the court to allow him to study same.
Following the agreement of parties, the court adjourned the case until March 18 for the continuation of trial.
Mompha was first arraigned by the commission 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 his firm, Ismalob Global Investment Ltd.
He had pleaded not guilty to the counts and was granted bail in the sum of N100 million with one surety in like sum.
The trial has since commenced in the suit, with the witnesses of the EFCC testifying.
So far in the trial, the commission had called witnesses from commercial banks, CBN as well as the Special Control Unit against Money Laundering (SCUML).
In the charge, EFCC accused the defendant of procuring Ismalob Global Investment Ltd and retaining in its account, an aggregate sum of N32.9billion between 2015 and 2018.
The prosecution alleged that Mompha laundered the sum through Ismalob Global Investment Ltd.
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.
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 are said to contravene the provisions of sections 15(2) and 18(3) of the Money Laundering Prohibition Act 2011 as amended.
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