The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) on Monday said it has re-arrested social media celebrity Ismaila Mustapha, alias Mompha, who was earlier arraigned on charges of money laundering to the tune of six billion naira.
EFCC counsel Suleiman Suleiman told a Special Offences Court sitting in Ikeja, Lagos, that the prosecution, in collaboration with its international partners, had secured the arrest of Mompha.
“The prosecution will like to bring to the knowledge of My Lord that in collaboration with our international partners, we have been able to apprehend the defendant. We plan to take him into custody and produce him before the court. The counsel for the defendant reached out to me seeking an adjournment that he will be absent today in court,” Suleiman said.
Justice Mojisola Dada, thereafter, adjourned the case until July 3 for the continuation of trial.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the court ordered on September. 21, 2022, the commencement of the trial of the defendant in absentia after he failed to appear before the court.
On January 22, 2022, EFCC arraigned Mompha alongside his company, Ismalob Global Investment, on an eight-count charge of laundering N6 billion, to which he pleaded not guilty.
The court on June 22, 2022, issued a bench warrant for Mompha’s arrest following his absence in court. Dada revoked the bail she granted the defendant.
The social media celebrity was equally absent in court on June 16, 2022.
On June 10, 2022, EFCC accused him of flouting the court’s order by travelling to Dubai with a new international passport.
The charges against Mompha include conspiracy to launder money obtained through unlawful activities and laundering money obtained through unlawful activities.
Others are retention of proceeds of criminal conduct, use of property derived from an unlawful act, possession of a document containing false pretence, and failure to disclose assets.