EFCC Witness Failed To Appear in Court For Mompha’s N6bn Money Laundering Trial

Mompha In The Middle Of EFCC Operatives

Further trial of the popular social media celebrity, Ismaila Mustapha (alias Mompha), on alleged N6 billion money laundering charges was stalled at the Lagos State Special Offences Court, Ikeja, on Monday, due to the absence of the prosecution witness.

Mompha, who is being tried by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), on the charges of money laundering, was also not in court for the trial. 

It would be recall that the presiding judge, Justice Mojisola Dada had sometimes in September 2022, ordered Mompha’s trial in absentia, months after revoking his bail for failing to attend his trial. 

However, at the resumed hearing of the matter on Monday, a lawyer from the EFCC, A. S. Wara, informed the court that the prosecution’s witness, Olayinka Jimoh, a.k.a. Nappy, who had earlier testified at the last hearing of the matter on December 19, 2023, was indisposed.

The lawyer did not give any tenable reasons, for the witness absence. He however, asked the court for an adjournment.

But Mompha’s lawyer, Kolawole Salami, vehemently opposed the lawyer’s request for adjournment, on the ground that the EFCC failed to give cogent reasons for it’s witness absence.

However, Justice Dada, after listening to counsel’s arguments, adjourned the matter to March 6, 2024 for continuation of trial.

The EFCC had, on 12 January 2022, arraigned him alongside his company, Ismalob Global Investment Limited, on eight counts of money laundering amounting to N6 billion.

On June 10, 2022, the EFCC informed the court that Mompha was in possession of another passport aside the one submitted to the court as part of his bail conditions.

The prosecution said the defendant used the other passport in his possession to travel from Ghana to Dubai on 11 April 2022 via Emirates Airlines in violation of the court order.

Consequently, the judge, Mrs Dada, revoked the bail granted him, declared him wanted and issued a bench warrant for his arrest due to his repeated absence from court.

Due to his continued absence from court and the inability of the prosecution and defence to produce him, the court, on 22 September 2022, ordered the commencement of trial of the defendant in absentia.

The charges against Mompha include conspiracy and money laundering involving proceeds of unlawful activities.

He was also accused of retention of proceeds of criminal conduct, use of property derived from an unlawful act, and failure to disclose assets.