The Federal High Court in Lagos has fixed November 18, 2020, to rule on the no-case submission filed by Internet personality, Ismaila Mustapha, alias Mompha, who is facing money laundering charges.
Justice Mohammed Liman fixed the date on Wednesday, after Mompha’s lawyer, Mr Gboyega Oyewole (SAN), moved the no-case submission, urging the court to dismiss the charges against his client.
Oyewole argued that despite calling 10 witnesses and tendering a load of documents, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission failed to establish a prima facie case against Mompha and his co-defendant, Ismalob Global Investment Limited.
Oyewole urged Justice Liman to dismiss the 22 counts against the defendants and set them free.
But the prosecution counsel for the EFCC, S.I. Suleiman, opposed the prayer, insisting that the anti-graft agency had substantiated its allegations against them.
After taking arguments from the lawyers, Justice Liman adjourned till November 18, 2020, for a ruling.
In the amended 22 counts before the court, the EFCC alleged that between 2015 and 2018, Mompha procured Ismalob Global Investment Limited to retain an aggregate of N32.95bn in its bank account.
The EFCC said he ought to have reasonably known that the funds formed parts of proceeds of an unlawful act; to wit: fraud.
In the counts against Ismalob Global Investment Limited, the EFCC said as a designated non-financial institution, the firm failed to report to the EFCC within seven days huge single lodgments and transfers such as N104.8m, N135m, N20m, N150m, N22.3m, N100m and N42m.
Furthermore, the EFCC alleged that not being an authorised buyer of foreign exchange currency appointed by the Central Bank of Nigeria, Mompha negotiated several foreign exchange transactions with different individuals in the sums of N20m, N22.3m, N30m, N100m, and N40.7m.
He was also accused of making cash payments of €299,000, €213,675, €273,000 to one Ahmed Sarki, said to be deceased.
These offences were said to be contrary to Section 18(c), 15(2)(d), 15(3), and Section 10 of the Money Laundering (Prohibition) Act.
The EFCC said Mompha and Ismalob Global Investment Limited also violated sections 5 and 29(1)(c) of the Foreign Exchange Monitoring and Miscellaneous (Provisions) Act Cap F34 LFN 2004.
But the defendants pleaded not guilty to the charges.