Justice Mohammed Liman of the Federal High Court in Lagos on Monday ordered that a socialite, Ismaila Mustapha (a.k.a. Mompha), should be remanded over alleged N33. billion money laundering.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that Liman gave the order following Mustapha’s not guilty plea to a 14-count charge.
The judge said that the defendant should be kept in the custody of the Nigerian Correctional Services pending the outcome of his bail application.
Mr Mustapha was charged by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, alongside a company, Islamob Global Investments Ltd.
The commission alleged that he laundered N33.006 billion through Ismalob Global Investment Ltd. from 2015 to 2018.
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EFCC lead counsel, Rotimi Oyedepo, said that the fund domiciled in Fidelity Bank, was moved in tranches of N18,059, 353,413 billion and N14,946, 773,393.00 billion.
“The first defendant, between 2015 and 2018, procured Ismalob Global Investment Ltd. to retain the aggregate sum of N18 billion in its account number 5260000846 domiciled in Fidelity Bank Plc.
“Mompha, between 2015 and 2017, also aided the company to retain the aggregate sum of N14.9 billion in the same Fidelity Bank Plc account.
“Both defendants, not being financial institutions, or authorised foreign exchange dealers, also negotiated foreign exchange transactions in the sum of N9.4 million, N20 million and N10.4 million.
“Other foreign exchange transactions negotiated by the defendants are for N10 million, N2.4 million, N10 million, N100 million, N61 million, N100 million, N40.7 million and N42 million,” he said.
The prosecution counsel alleged that the sums were proceeds of fraud, adding that the offences contravene Sections 15(2) and 18(3) of the Money Laundering (Prohibition) Act. 2011, as amended, and punishable under Section 15 (3) of the same Act.
The court adjourned the case until Nov. 29 for hearing of the defendant’s bail application.