The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) told an Ikeja Special Offences Court that Ismaila Mustapha (Mompha) popular Instagram influencer has traveled to Dubai with a new passport against court orders.
The Commission’s lawyer disclosed this at the court on Friday showing a copy of the new passport in court.
As part of Mompha’s bail conditions, the Court had on March 28, ordered him to deposit his passport with the court’s registrar.
Today was slated to take the final report on plea bargain of the defendant.
However, when the matter was called up, Mr Rotimi Oyedepo, the EFCC’s lawyer, told the court that the defendant chartered an Emirate Airline and traveled to Dubai after he had submitted his international passport like the court ordered.
He said: “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 a 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 traveled with after my lord restrict him from traveling.”
Objecting to the prosecution’s claim, the defence counsel argued that his client did not travel out. He told the EFCC to confirm with the immigration in order to ascertain their claim.
He said: “I have spoken with the prosecution concerning this my lord. When he called, I told him that there was a particular person who was our surety that was supposed to pay the N25 million.
“His account was frozen when the money got into his account. The man called the defendant and for the defendant’s safety, he told the man that he had traveled. But the man has connections and concluded that the defendant has defiled the court order.
“My lord, the EFCC should write to Immigration to ascertain if my client really traveled 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.”
EFCC showed the photocopy of the said new passport allegedly used by Mompha but he said the signature on it was not his.
Following the arguments, the court stood down the matter for a while to allow both counsels to discuss.
When the trial resumed, the defence lawyer told the judge that he had discussed with the prosecution and he has demanded for one week to verify from the immigration.
He said, “We have had discussions within ourselves and also spoke with 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.”
As the EFCC counsel did not object, the presiding judge, Justice Mojisola Dada adjourned the matter until June 16 for further consideration on bail application.
She ordered that the defendant remain in the custody of the defence counsel.
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Nairametrics had reported that the court reduced the bail sum of Mompha from N200 million to N25 million
Nairametrics also reported on January 12, that he was arraigned on offences bordering on money laundering and use of properties derived from unlawful acts.