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Court adjourns Mompha’s alleged money laundering trial till July 1

JUSTICE Mojisola Dada from the Special Offences Court in Ikeja, Lagos, adjourned Ismaila Mustapha’s (also known as Mompha) trial until July 1, 2024.

This decision was made during the presentation of the fifth witness, Ezekoli Ozoemenam, a Fidelity Bank Plc staff member, by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).

Mompha and his company, Ismalob Global Investment Limited, were charged on January 12, 2022, an eight-count charge bordering on conspiracy to launder funds obtained through unlawful activity, retention of proceeds of criminal conduct, laundering of funds obtained through unlawful activity, failure to disclose assets and property, possession of documents containing false pretences and use of property derived from unlawful act.

Despite pleading “not guilty,” Mompha’s trial proceeded in his absence after he absconded while on bail on September 22, 2022.

During yesterday’s sessions, Ozoemenam, a bank compliance officer, was led in evidence by the prosecution counsel, S.I. Suleiman who informed the court that the bank received requests from the EFCC as part of its investigation.

“We received a request from the EFCC for the account opening package of the defendant, to which we responded”, he stated.

He then identified the correspondence between the bank and the EFCC after being provided a copy in open court.

“This is the same document which we provided to the EFCC and it was printed from a perfectly working computer system,” he stated.

The prosecution then presented the paperwork including the account opening package and asked the court to allow them as evidence.

However, defence counsel, Kolawole Salami stated that he will hold his objection to the application.

Under cross-examination, the witness informed the court that the account was opened in 2016, “and as at that time, I was part of the internal control, and I moved from branch to branch”.

He also stated that abnormalities in bank accounts are reported to the Nigerian Financial Intelligence Unit (NFIU).

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

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