Despite seized passport, Mompha travelled to Dubai without court’s permission– EFCC


The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has told an Ikeja special offences court that Ismailia Mustapha, better known as Mompha, travelled to Dubai despite the seizure of his international passport.


Mompha was arraigned by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) over alleged N6 billion fraud on January 12.


Also listed in the charge sheet is his company, Ismalob Global Investment Ltd.


A fresh eight-count charge was brought against him, including conspiracy to launder funds obtained through unlawful activity and laundering of funds obtained through unlawful activity.


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 and properties.


On March 28, Mompha was ordered to submit his international passport to the court after his bail sum was reduced from N200 million to N25 million.


At the court session on Friday, Rotimi Oyedepo, EFCC counsel, informed the court that the defendant travelled to Dubai after he had submitted his international passport on the order of the court.


“My lord granted bail to the defendant and ordered him to submit his international passport,” Oyedepo said.


“The commission is not the only one on this matter and we had from a 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. That passport is not the one submitted to this honourable court, my lord.


“The defendant did not travel through Nigeria. The issue now is that the defendant has a new passport at hand which he travelled with after my lord restrict him from travelling.”

However, Gboyega Oyewole, the defendant’s counsel, objected to the prosecution’s claim, adding that the EFCC should write to the Nigeria Immigration for verification.


“I have spoken with the prosecution concerning this, my lord. When he called, I told him that there was a particular person who was our surety that was supposed to pay the N25 million,” he said.


“His account was frozen when the money got into his account. The man called the defendant and for the defendant’s safety, he told the man that he had travelled. But the man has connection and concluded that the defendant has defied the court order.


“My lord, the EFCC should write to Immigration to ascertain if my client really travelled 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. We should have it on record, my lord.


“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.”


When a photocopy of the passport was shown to the defendant, he denied the signature on it.


Upon reconvening after a few minutes of stand-down, the defence counsel prayed the court to grant him one week to enable him verify the claim of the prosecution.


 “In the interest of justice, we have agreed with the prosecution to give me one week to verify the truth. I need to verify the truth, my lord,” Oyewole said.


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