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The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has told an Ikeja Special Offences Court that social media celebrity, Ismaila Mustapha a.k.a. Mompha flouted the court’s order and travelled to Dubai with a new international passport.
This, the anti-graft agency said, was despite that his traveling documents had been submitted to the court.
Justice Mojisola Dada had on March 28 ordered Mompha to submit his international passport to the chief registrar of the high court as one of his bail conditions varied from N200 million to N25 million.
Mompha is facing an eight count charge of N6 billion money laundering charge alongside his company, Ismalob Global Investment Limited, brought against him by the EFCC.
The charges bordered on retention of proceeds of criminal conduct, use of property derived from unlawful act, possession of document containing false pretences and failure to disclose assets.
During resumed proceedings, EFCC counsel, Mr Rotimi Oyedepo, informed the court that Mompha hired an Emirate Airline and travelled to Abuja after he had submitted his international passport on the order of the court.
He reminded the court that when the defendant was granted bail, he was also ordered to submit his International Passport to the registrar.
He said: “The commission had it from a good authority that the defendant has a passport with No. D50084304, which was issued in Abuja on July 2021 and is to expire on June 30, 2031.
“From the information by our partner, the defendant had on April 11 hired Emirate aircraft and flew from Ghana to Dubai. That passport is not the one submitted to this honourable court, my lord.
“The defendant did not travel through Nigeria. The issue now is that the defendant has a new passport at hand which he traveled with after my lord restricted him from travelling.”
Defence counsel, Gboyega Oyewole, SAN, however, objected to the submission of the prosecution.
He argued that EFCC should write to the Nigeria Immigration to ascertain the claim.
“I have spoken with the prosecution concerning this, my lord. When he called, I told him that there was a particular person who was our surety that was supposed to pay the N25 million.
“His account was frozen when the money got into his account. The man called the defendant and for the defendant’s safety, he told the man that he had travelled. But the man has connection and concluded that the defendant has defied the court order.
“My lord, the EFCC should write to Immigration to ascertain if my client really travelled out of the country or not.”
Oyewole said further: “This is a superior court of record sir and I suggest that an application be brought concerning this because there is a lot of confusion here.
“We should have it on record my lord. Let Immigration respond if another passport exists.”
Oyewole reminded the court that the residency visa the defendant has to live by in Dubai is already submitted to the registrar.
Oyedepo thereafter urged the court to stand down the case for ten minutes so as to discuss with the defence counsel.
The defence counsel also urged court to grant him one week to verify the claim of the prosecution.
On their return, the defence told the court: “We have had discussions within ourselves and also spoke with the prosecution.