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Court fixes July 24 for hearing of Mompha’s application on seized properties  

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Mr. Justice Muhammed Liman of the Federal High Court sitting in Lagos has fixed July 24, 2020 for hearing the application filed by the social media influencer, Ismaila Mustapha, popularly known as mompha and his company, Ismalog Global Investment Limited. He filed the application for the release of some of the items seized from him by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).

The judge also fixed October 14, for hearing of parties on the no case submission filed by Mompha. Justice Liman fixed the date after listening to the testimony of the last prosecution witness, a director in the defendant’s company, Hamodu Muhammed.

EFCC had charged Mompha, for allegedly laundering about N33 billion, through his firm, Ismalog Global Investment Limited. He was arraigned alongside his company on 14-count-charge bordering on operating Bureau De’ Change (BDC) without registering with the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and other regulating ministries. He was also accused of failing to comply with the Federal Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment in carrying out an unlawful negotiation of foreign exchange.

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The anti-graft agency said offences 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. He had pleaded not guilty to all the counts and was granted bail.

When the court resumed hearing, Muhammed told court that he is the second director in the company, while the third director is one Danjuma Muhammed. Led-in-evidence by the prosecution counsel, Rotimi Oyedepo, he told the court that he is an uncle to Mompha.

The witness told the court that he and the third director both have 200, 000 shares in the company while Mompha has 600,000 shares in the company. Mohammed also told the court that the company which was registered in 2015, was not licensed to carry out BDC services and that all the transactions carried out by the company, were facilitated by Mompha. He was therefore cross-examined by defendant counsel, Mr. Gboyega Oyewole (SAN) who led Kolawole Salami and Adefolaju Ademola.

The witness told the court that all the transactions done by Mompha were through his company, which was established by Mompha’s late father, whom he said was his elder brother.

The witness also told the court that Mompha only used Ismalob Global Investment Limited as a facilitator of all the transactions done by Mompha’s BDC services.

When he was asked about the query issued by the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) to Mompha’s firm, the witness said he referred the query to the firm’s auditor, one Abiodun Audu, who responded to the query and that FIRS is yet to respond to the reply.He also told the court that Mompha’s firm (Ismalob Global Investment Limited) was given commissions on any transactions it facilitated to Mompha Bureau De Change Services.

Upon the conclusion of the witness testimony, Oyewole (SAN) notified the court of his client’s no case submission and the application to retrieve some of his belongings in the EFCC custody.

He told the court that the application has been served on the prosecution, adding that the EFCC released some of the items while holding on to some of his wristwatches.

In response, the EFCC counsel admitted being served with the application, but said most of the seized items are still been subject to investigation.
Justice Liman subsequently adjourned till July 24, for hearing of applications on the seized items and October 14 for hearing of no case submission.

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