The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission before Justice Mojisola Dada of the Ikeja Special Offences Court, Lagos on Friday said that the social media celebrity, Ismaila Mustapha, popularly known as Mompha, had defied the court order by traveling to Dubai with a new international passport.
EFCC had on January 12 charged Mompha and his company, Ismalob Global Investment Ltd, with six billion Naira money laundering.
The court had on March 28, ordered Mompha to submit his international passport to court after his bail sum was reduced from N200 million to N25 million.
During Friday’s sitting, the EFCC counsel, Rotimi Oyedepo, informed the court that the parties did not come to a conclusion, but the defendant hired an Emirate Airline and traveled to Abuja after he had submitted his international passport on the order of the court.
Oyedepo said, “My lord granted bail to the defendant and ordered him to submit his International Passport, but still traveled down to Dubai.
“The commission is not the only one on this matter and we heard from 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 and flew from Ghana to Dubai and the passport that the defendant used to travel is not the one submitted to this honourable court my lord.
“The defendant did not travel through Nigeria and the issue here now is that the defendant has a new passport at hand which he traveled with after my lord restricted him from traveling.”
The Defence counsel, Gboyega Oyewole, however, objected to the submission of the prosecution and argued that EFCC should write to Nigeria Immigration to ascertain the claim.
Oyewole said, “I have spoken with the prosecution concerning this my lord and 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 surety called the defendant and for the defendant’s safety, he told the surety that he had traveled. But the man has connection and concluded that the defendant has defiled court order.
“My lord, the EFCC should write to Immigration to ascertain if my client really traveled out of the country or not.
“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 and should be on record.
“Let Immigration respond if another passport exists. The residency visa that he has to live in Dubai is already submitted in court so there is no way he can enter the country,”
A photocopy of the passport was shown to the defendant and he denied the signature on it.
The EFCC counsel thereafter urged the court to stand down the case for ten minutes so as to discuss it with the defence counsel.
The defence counsel, thereafter, urged the court to grant him one week to verify the claim of the prosecution.
Oyewole said, “We have had discussions within ourselves and also spoke with the prosecution.
“In the interest of justice, we have agreed with the prosecution to give me one week to verify the truth as I need to verify the truth my lord.”
The prosecution did not object the submission of the defence counsel.
Justice Dada adjourned the case until June 16, 2022, for further consideration on the bail application and ordered the defendant to be in the custody of the defense counsel.