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Alleged Money Laundering: Court Adjourns Mompha’s Trial Till July 1

Justice Mojisola Dada of the Special Offences Court in Ikeja, Lagos, has adjourned the trial of Ismaila Mustapha, popularly known as Mompha, to July 1, 2024. This decision came as the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) presented its fifth witness, Ezekoli Ozoemenam, a staff member of Fidelity Bank Plc.

 

The Lagos Zonal Command of the EFCC had arraigned Mompha and his company, Ismalob Global Investment Limited, on January 12, 2022. They face an eight-count charge that includes conspiracy to launder funds obtained through unlawful activities, retaining proceeds of criminal conduct, laundering funds, failure to disclose assets, and possession of documents containing false pretenses.

One of the charges states that Mompha, along with an accomplice at large, Ahmadu Mohammed, and his company, Ismalob Global Investment Limited, conspired to conduct financial transactions amounting to over N5.9 billion with the intent of promoting unlawful activities, specifically obtaining funds by false pretenses. Mompha pleaded not guilty to the charges.

On September 22, 2022, Justice Dada ordered that the trial continue in absentia after Mompha jumped bail.

During Monday’s proceedings, Ozoemenam, a compliance officer at Fidelity Bank, testified that the bank had provided the EFCC with the account opening package of the defendant as part of the investigation. He identified the correspondence between the bank and the EFCC and confirmed the authenticity of the documents provided.

The prosecution, led by S.I. Suleiman, presented these documents as evidence. However, the defense counsel, Kolawole Salami, reserved his objection to this application.

Under cross-examination, Ozoemenam revealed that the account in question was opened in 2016 and noted that any anomalies in bank accounts are reported to the Nigerian Financial Intelligence Unit (NFIU).

The case has been adjourned till July 1, 2024, for the continuation of the trial.

 

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