A Federal High Court in Lagos has adjourned till December 9 to rule on the no-case submission filed by Internet personality, Ismaila Mustapha, alias Mompha, in response to the money laundering charges slammed on him by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission.
Justice Mohammed Liman had earlier scheduled the ruling for Wednesday, but the parties were told by the court that the ruling was not ready.
They were directed to return on December 9. The EFCC arraigned Mompha and a firm, Ismalob Global Investment Limited, on 22 counts in which they were accused of laundering an aggregate of N32.95bn between 2015 and 2018.
The EFCC alleged that Mompha procured the firm to retain the N32.9bn in its bank account, when he ought to have reasonably known that the funds formed parts of proceeds of an unlawful act; to wit: fraud.
The prosecution said being a designated non-financial institution, Ismalob Global Investment Limited failed to report to the EFCC within seven days huge single lodgments and transfers such as N104.8m, N135m, N20m, N150m, N22.3m, N100m and N42m.
Furthermore, the EFCC alleged that not being an authourised buyer of foreign exchange currency appointed by the Central Bank of Nigeria, Mompha negotiated several foreign exchange transactions with different individuals in the sums of N20m, N22.3m, N30m, N100m and N40.7m.
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 F34 LFN 2004.
But the defendants pleaded not guilty to the charges. In a bid to prove the charges, the EFCC called 10 witnesses and tendered a load of documents. But Mompha, through his lawyer, Mr Gboyega Oyewole (SAN), said the anti-graft agency failed to establish a prima facie case against him.
He urged the court to dismiss the charges and set him. But the EFCC opposed the prayer.
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