N33 Billion Fraud: Instagram Celebrity Mompha Pleads Not Guilty

N33 Billion Fraud: Instagram Celebrity Mompha Pleads Not Guilty

By News Agency of Nigeria on November 29, 2019
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Ismaila Mustapha popularly known as ‘Mompha'
Ismaila Mustapha popularly known as ‘Mompha'

Ismaila Mustapha, an Internet celebrity, also known as Mompha, has on Monday, November 25, 2019, denied involvement in a N33 billion money laundering charge filed against him by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC.

Mompha pleaded not guilty to a 14-count charge bordering on the offences following his arraignment at the Federal High Court, Ikoyi, Lagos by the EFCC.

Mohammad Liman, the presiding judge remanded him in prison custody and adjourned till Friday for hearing of his bail application and commencement of trial.

The anti-graft agency alleged in the charge sheet signed by one of its counsels, Rotimi Oyedepo, that Mompha laundered the funds through a firm which was the second defendant – Ismalob Global Investment Ltd – between 2015 and 2018.

It claimed that the funds, domiciled in a commercial bank, were moved in tranches of N18,059,353,413 and N14,946,773,393.

The EFCC also claimed that both defendants, not being a financial institution or an authorised foreign exchange dealer, negotiated a foreign exchange transaction in the sum of N9.416 million, N20 million, N10,437,400, N10 million, N2.46 million, N10 million, N100 million, N61 million, N100 million, N40.7 million, and N42 million.

The funds were domiciled in the defendants’ commercial bank account.

In one of the counts, the anti-graft agency alleged that Mompha, “Between 2015 and 2018… procured Ismalob Global Investment Ltd to retain the aggregate sum of N18,059,353,413 in its account No. 5260000846 domiciled in Fidelity Bank Plc which sum you reasonably ought to have known formed part of the proceeds of unlawful act to wit: fraud.”

The first defendant was also alleged to have between 2015 and 2017, aided the company “to retain the aggregate sum of N 14,946,773,393.00 in its account No. 5260000846 domiciled in Fidelity Bank Plc from Pitacalize Ltd.”

Both actions, according to the EFCC, offend Sections 18(3) and 15(2)(d) of the Money Laundering Prohibition Act.2011 (as amended) and are punishable under section 15 (3) of the same Act.

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