Court admits FBI report, Mompha’s iPhone in money laundering trial
A Lagos Special Offences Court, sitting in Ikeja, yesterday, admitted a Federal Bureau of Investigation’s (FBI) report on Ismaila Mustapha (a.k.a Mompha), and his iPhone used for fraudulent practices, in evidence.
The trial judge, Mojisola Dada, admitted the report during Mompha’s trial in absentia, on alleged money laundering brought against him by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).
The EFCC, had on January 22,2022, arraigned Mompha alongside his company, Ismalob Global Investment, on an eight-count charge of N6 billion money laundering.
Mompha pleaded not guilty to all the counts and was granted bail, but the court later revoked the bail due to his absence at the trial.
At the resumed trial, EFCC’s counsel, Sulaiman Suleiman, who led the FBI’s agent, Ayorinde Solademi in evidence, tendered documents, which included a letter by the EFCC to the United States of America’s Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and a report by the Bureau.
However, the defendant’s counsel, Kolawole Salami, objected to the admissibility of the documents from the United States Consulate without certification.
He said the documents are not certified true copies, hence, should not be admitted.
The trial judge, however, overruled Salami, and upheld the position of the prosecution that the documents were original, and require no certification.
During cross-examination by the defence counsel, Solademi, who works at the Legal Attaché Office of the FBI in Nigeria, told the court that he retrieved an iPhone belonging to Mompha with a Faraday bag.
According to him, the FBI’s forensic operations revealed that Mompha’s iPhone was used in sending account details to a United Arab Emirates (UAE) telephone number, searching for Swift Codes of a bank and had a compromised Microsoft 365 account.
The witness also told the court that the FBI discovered during analysis that Mompha’s iPhone was also used to change payment delivery from cheque to wire transfer, after a third attempt.
After listening to his testimony, Justice Dada adjourned further hearing to November 1.