The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has beseeched Justice Mohammed Liman of the Federal High Court in Lagos to dismiss the no-case submission filed by suspected internet fraudster, Ismail Mustapha, also known as Mompha, who is standing trial over an alleged N32.9 billion fraud.
Liman fixed the date on Wednesday, after Mompha’s lawyer, Mr Gboyega Oyewole (SAN), moved the no-case submission, urging the court to dismiss the charges against his client.
Gboyega argued that despite calling ten witnesses and tendering a load of documents, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission failed to establish a prima facie case against Mompha and his co-defendant, Ismalob Global Investment Limited.
Gboyega urged Justice Liman to dismiss the 22 counts against the defendants and set them free.
But the prosecuting counsel for the EFCC, S.I. Suleiman, opposed the prayer, insisting that the anti-graft agency had substantiated its allegations against them.
After taking arguments from the lawyers, Justice Liman adjourned till 18 November 2020, for a ruling.
In the amended 22 counts before the court, the EFCC alleged that between 2015 and 2018, Mompha procured Ismalob Global Investment Limited to retain an aggregate of N32.95 billion 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 N104.8 million, N135 million, N20 million, N150 million, N22.3 million, N100 million, and N42 million.
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 N20 million, N22.3 million, N30 million, N100 million, and N40.7 million.
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.