EFCC alleges Mompha travelled to Dubai despite seized passport

Written by Ade

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has informed an Ikeja Special Offences Court that Ismailia Mustapha, better known as Mompha, travelled to Dubai despite the seizure of his international passport.

Rotimi Oyedepo, EFCC counsel, at the court session on Friday, told the court that Ismaila travelled to Dubai after he had submitted his international passport on the order of the court.

“My lord granted bail to the defendant and ordered him to submit his international passport.

“The commission is not the only one on this matter and we had from good authority that the defendant has a passport with  No. D50084304 which was issued in Abuja on July 2021 and is to expire on June 30, 2031.

“From the information by our partner, the defendant had on April 11 hired Emirate and flew from Ghana to Dubai. That passport is not the one submitted to this honourable court, my lord.

“The defendant did not travel through Nigeria. The issue now is that the defendant has a new passport at hand which he travelled with after my lord restrict him from travelling,” Oyedepo said.

Ismaila was arraigned by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) over alleged N6 billion fraud on January 12. He was arraigned alongside his company, Ismalob Global Investment Ltd.

A fresh eight-count charge was brought against him, including conspiracy to launder funds obtained through unlawful activity and laundering of funds obtained through unlawful activity.

Others are retention of proceeds of criminal conduct, use of property derived from an unlawful act, possession of a document containing false pretence, and failure to disclose assets and properties.

On March 28, Mompha was ordered to submit his international passport to the court after his bail sum was reduced from N200 million to N25 million.

During Friday’s hearing, Gboyega Oyewole, the defendant’s counsel, objected to the prosecution’s claim that Ismaila had travelled to Dubai, adding that the EFCC should write to the Nigeria Immigration for verification.

“My lord, the EFCC should write to Immigration to ascertain if my client really travelled out of the country or not.

“This is a superior court of record, sir, and I suggest that an application be brought concerning this because there is a lot of confusion here. We should have it on record, my lord.

“Let Immigration respond if another passport exists. The residency visa that he has to live in Dubai is already submitted in court. So, there is no way he can enter the country,” Oyewole said.

When a photocopy of the passport was shown to Ismaila, he denied the signature on it.

The defence counsel later prayed the court to grant him one week to enable him to verify the claim of the prosecution.

“In the interest of justice, we have agreed with the prosecution to give me one week to verify the truth. I need to verify the truth, my lord,” Oyewole said.

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