Court hears N33b money laundering charge against Mompha July 10
Justice Mohammed Liman of a Federal High Court, Lagos will on July 10, 2020 continue with the trial of internet celebrity, Ismaila Mustapha popularly known as Mompha charged for having allegedly laundered the sum of N33 billion by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).
Justice Liman fixed the date following the testimony of the prosecution witness, Abiodun Audu in an ongoing trial of Mompha alongside his company.
The witness said he never met with the defendant (Mompha) in the course of filing his company’s tax return.
Mompha and his company are facing a 14-count-charge bordering on operating Bureau De Change (BDC) without being registered with CBN and other regulating ministries, failure to comply with the Federal Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment regulations in carrying out his business as well as unlawful negotiation of foreign exchanged.
The EFCC said his offence contravened sections 18(c) and 15(2)(d) of the Money Laundering Prohibition Act, 2011 as amended and punishable under section 15 (3) of the same Act. Defendants had pleaded not guilty to the charge.
However, when the case was called, Audu was led in-evidence by the EFCC counsel, Mr. S. I. Suleiman. He told court that he was contacted by one Alhaji Hamodu, a director with Ismalob Global Investment Limited, to input July 2016 to June 2017, in his tax return to the FIRS.
He also told the court, it was at the EFCC’s that the document relating to the tax return was shown to him, when he was invited in 2020.
Audu also informed the court that he is a Fellow of Institute of Chartered Accountant of Nigeria (ICAN), and that it was Hamodu, a director in Mompha’s company, Ismalob Global Investments Limited that contacted him to file the tax return for the company.
The witness was also cross-examined by Mompha’s counsel, Mr. Gboyega Oyewole (SAN) who led Kolawole Salami and Ademola Adefolaju. He said he only relates with Alhaji Hamodu, adding that he never met with the defendant (Mompha).
He also told the court that the information on the company’s self-assessment form were supplied by Alhaji Hamodu, who he said he knew to be a Bureau De Change Operator, adding that during the said period, Mompha was residing in Dubai, United Arab Emirate (UAE).
When the witness was re-examined by the prosecutor, she said both Alhaji Hamodu and Mompha’s signatures were on the company’s tax self-assessment form.
After the conclusion of the witness’ evidence, the prosecutor asked the court for adjournment, to enable him present the last witness in the matter.
Responding, Oyewole (SAN), did not oppose to the adjournment, but however informed the court that the adjournment request was unwarranted, as the agency, promised to produce all its witnesses at the last sitting of the court.
Justice Liman therefore adjourned the matter till July 10, for continuation of trial and ordered the prosecutor to ensure that all remaining witnesses are in court.
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