Justice Mojisola Dada of the Special Offences Court sitting in Ikeja, Lagos, on Monday, September 18, 2023, admitted in evidence more documents tendered by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, against Ismail Mustapha, also known as Mompha, through its third prosecution witness, Ayotunde Solademi, a staff of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, FBI, Office of Legal Attache US Consulate, Lagos.
The Lagos Zonal Command of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, on January 12, 2022, arraigned Mompha alongside his company, Ismalob Global Investment Limited, on an eight-count charge bordering on conspiracy to launder funds obtained through unlawful activity, retention of proceeds of criminal conduct, laundering of funds obtained through unlawful activity, failure to disclose assets and property, possession of documents containing false pretence and use of property derived from unlawful act.
One of the counts reads: “Ismaila Mustapha, Ahmadu Mohammed (at large) and Ismalob Global Investment Limited, sometime in 2016, in Lagos, within the jurisdiction of this Honourable Court, conspired amongst yourselves to conduct financial transactions to the tune of N5,998,884,653.18 (Five Billion Nine Hundred and Ninety-eight Million Eight Hundred and Eighty-four Thousand Six Hundred and Fifty-three Naira Eighteen Kobo), with the intent of promoting the carrying on of specified unlawful activities to wit: obtaining by false pretence.”
He pleaded “not guilty” to the charges.
Justice Dada had, on September 22, 2022, ordered that the trial of Mompha would continue in absentia after he jumped bail.
At today’s proceedings, the prosecuting counsel, S.I. Suleiman, through the witness, tendered two more documents, which included a report by the USA-based Federal Bureau of Investigation, FBI, and an investigative report on Mompha’s iPhone, which the agency claimed was used for fraudulent practices.
However, the defence counsel, Kolawole Salami, raised an objection to the admissibility of the two documents, arguing that they were public documents that were needed to be certified by the United States Consulate.
“The documents are not a Certified True Copy, CTC, and should not be admitted in court,” he said.
The objection was, however, overruled by the court.
Justice Dada upheld the submission of the prosecution that the documents were in their original state, stressing that, “the documents do not require certification”.
Under cross-examination, the witness told the court that the FBI’s forensic operations revealed that Mompha’s iPhone was used to send account details to a United Arab Emirates telephone number; used to search for Swift Codes of a bank, and had a compromised Microsoft 365 account.
He further told the court that during analysis, it was uncovered that Mompha’s iPhone was also used to change payment delivery from cheque to wire transfer, after a third attempt.
He said: “The iPhone was used to make three attempts to transfer funds.
“The first two failed, but the third was successful.”
The case has been adjourned till November 1, 2023.