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EFCC: Court rules on Mompha’s application to recover watches, phone

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The Federal High Court in Lagos has fixed July 24 to rule on an application by Internet celebrity, Ismaila Mustapha , alias Mompha , to recover items seized from him by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission .
In an application on Friday by his lawyer , Mr Gboyega Oyewole ( SAN) , Mompha listed the seized items as “ five wristwatches , one Apple Air pod , one iPhone 8 mobile phone and one pair of sunglasses. ”
But the application was vehemently opposed by the EFCC lawyer , Rotimi Oyedepo, who described it as vexatious .
The EFCC is prosecuting Mompha and his company , Ismalob Global Investment Limited, for allegedly laundering a total of N 32 .95 bn .
The defendants were charged with 14 counts, bordering on fraud , money laundering and running a foreign exchange business without the authorisation of the Central Bank of Nigeria .
But they have pleaded not guilty.
In opposing Mompha ’s application for the release of his “ personal belongings” seized by the EFCC, an investigator with the EFCC, Idi Musa , said Mompha “ is still under investigation for offences bordering on fraudulent transactions , aiding and abetting , money laundering and computer -related fraud that are different from the current charge at hand .
“ Releasing the applicant ’s recovered items will jeopardise the said ongoing investigation that has recorded remarkable success so far. ”
Following an argument between Oyewole and Oyedepo on Friday , Justice Mohammed Liman adjourned till July 24 for a ruling.
Meanwhile, the EFCC closed its case in the trial on Friday after calling its last witness.
Mompha ’ s lawyer , Oyewole , indicated that he would be filing a no -case submission on behalf of his client for the court to dismiss the chargeIn the charges , the EFCC alleged that between 2015 and 2018 , Mompha procured Ismalob Global Investment Limited to retain an aggregate of N 32 . 95 bn in its bank account.
The EFCC said he ought to have reasonably known that the funds formed parts of proceeds of an unlawful act; to wit: fraud .
In the counts against Ismalob Global Investment Limited , the EFCC said as a designated non- financial institution , the firm failed to report to the EFCC within seven days huge single lodgments and transfers such as N 104. 8 m , N 135 m , N 20 m , N 150m , N 22 . 3 m , N 100 m and N 42 m .
Furthermore , the EFCC alleged that not being an authorised buyer of foreign exchange currency appointed by the CBN , Mompha negotiated several foreign exchange transactions with different individuals in the sums of N 20 m , N 22 . 3m , N 30 m , N 100 m and N 40 . 7 m .
He was also accused of making cash payments of € 299, 000 , € 213, 675 , € 273 ,000 to one Ahmed Sarki , said to be deceased.
These offences were said to be contrary to Section 18 ( c) , 15 ( 2 ) ( d ) , 15 ( 3 ) and Section 10 of the Money Laundering ( Prohibition ) Act .
The EFCC said Mompha and Ismalob Global Investment Limited also violated sections 5 and 29 ( 1 ) ( c) of the Foreign Exchange Monitoring and Miscellaneous ( Provisions ) Act Cap F 34 LFN 2004

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