N35bn present in Mompha’s accounts, witness tells courtroom

The sixth prosecution witness, Idi Musa, within the trial of Ismaila Mustapha, (a.ok.a Mompha) on Monday, instructed Justice Mojisola Dada of the Special Offences Court sitting in Ikeja, Lagos how N35bn was present in two financial institution accounts linked to the defendant.

The Lagos Zonal Command of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, had, on January 12, 2022, arraigned Mompha alongside his firm, Ismalob Global Investment Limited, on an eight-count cost bordering on conspiracy to launder funds obtained by illegal exercise, retention of proceeds of felony conduct, laundering of funds obtained by illegal exercise, failure to reveal property and property, possession of paperwork containing false pretences and use of property derived from illegal act.

One of the counts learn, “Ismaila Mustapha, Ahmadu Mohammed (at large) and Ismalob Global Investment Limited, sometime in 2016, in Lagos, within the jurisdiction of this Honourable Court, conspired amongst yourselves to conduct financial transactions to the tune of N5,998,884,653.18 with the intent of promoting the carrying on of specified unlawful activities to wit: obtaining by false pretence.”

He pleaded “not guilty” to the fees once they have been learn to him.

On September 22, 2022, Justice Dada had ordered that the trial of Mompha would proceed in absentia after he jumped bail.

At Monday’s proceedings, Musa, an investigator with the EFCC, whereas being led in proof by the prosecution counsel, S. I. Suleiman, narrated how he knew the primary and second defendants in the midst of investigations into the alleged felony actions.

He instructed the courtroom how the fee had obtained intelligence from the Federal Bureau of Investigations, informing it that the primary and second defendants have been into cybercrime within the United States of America, USA.

In his testimony, he mentioned, “Sometime in 2019, we received intelligence from the FBI, USA. The letter was addressed to the commission, informing us that the first and second defendants were involved in cybercrime, otherwise known as Yahoo Yahoo.”

According to him, in the midst of the investigation, some letters have been written to 2 main banks requesting the account statements of the second defendant linked to the primary defendant.

In his additional testimony, he instructed the courtroom that “The account statements have been obtained and analysed.

“During the evaluation, we found a heavy move of N30bn by the account of the primary defendant (Mompha) in one of many banks and about N5bn in one other checking account.

“Letters have been written to the FBI, and the Special Fraud Unit of the vommission, relating to the defendant’s declare that he was into Bureau De change enterprise, in view of the amount of those transactions.

“A letter was also written to the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN and other relevant agencies.”

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He additionally instructed the courtroom that the investigation revealed that the primary defendant didn’t reside in Nigeria and that efforts to succeed in him proved abortive.

The witness mentioned, “A letter was written to the Nigeria Immigration Services, on October 16, 2019, to arrest the defendant anytime he was seen within the nation.

“On October 18, 2019, the primary defendant acquired data that the Commission was in search of him, whereas he was in Nigeria. So, he shortly acquired to the airport and boarded a flight in an effort to jet in another country to evade arrest.

“The team got the information through the NIS officers at the airport. By then, Mompha had already boarded the flight. So, they had to call him to come down and he was immediately arrested. He was subsequently handed over to the EFCC by the immigration officers.”

When requested concerning the findings relating to the defendant’s checking account, Musa mentioned over N30bn was found, including that “he instructed us that he was into Bureau De Change enterprise. But investigation confirmed that he was not.

“We have already concluded investigations in that regard. The offences border on money laundering, operating BDC without a licence before a Federal High Court in Ikoyi, Lagos.”

He additionally instructed the courtroom {that a} report from the FBI’s forensic evaluation revealed that Mompha’s iPhone was used to ship account particulars to a United Arab Emirates phone quantity, which he used to seek for Swift Codes of a financial institution.

“Upon his arrest, all of the properties recovered from him have been registered with the Exhibits Section within the EFCC workplace.

“Most of the properties have been launched to him on bond, besides his iPhone 8 which remains to be with the fee.

“The items are proceeds of crime because when he was given the Assets Declaration Form, he did not include those items,” he added.

The prosecution then tendered each the primary defendant’s assertion in addition to the Asset Declaration Form.

They have been admitted in proof as reveals P5 and P6 by the courtroom.

Consequently, Justice Dada adjourned the case until Tuesday, October 8, 2024, for the continuation of trial.



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