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EFCC closes case in trial of Mompha

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The prosecution on Friday closed its case in the N32.9 billion money laundering trial of an internet celebrity, Ismaila Mustapha, alias Mompha, before a Federal High Court in Lagos.

The prosecution – the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission – closed its case after calling its 10th witness.

Mustapha is charged by the EFCC on 14 counts bordering on fraud, money laundering and running a foreign exchange business without the authorisation of the Central Bank of Nigeria.

He was arraigned alongside a firm, Ismalob Global Investment Limited.

He had pleaded not guilty to the charge, and was granted bail in the sum of N100 million with one surety in like sum.

The EFCC accused Mustapha of procuring Ismalob Global Investment Limited and illegally retaining in its account an aggregate sum of N32.9 billion from 2015 to 2018.

When the trial resumed on Friday, EFCC counsel, Rotimi Oyedepo, called the 10th witness, Alhaji Amodu Mohammed.

The witness, who spoke partly in pidgin English, told the court that the defendant was a Director of Ismalob.

He testified that the company had three Directors, including himself and one Danjuma Mohammed.

He told the court that the company also maintained an account to which Mustapha was a signatory.

According to the witness, Ismalob is a Bureau de change company, which started business in December 2015.

On whether Ismalob is a licenced BDC, he told the court that it was not licenced by the CBN.

Prosecution then referred the witness to Exhibit B62 to B101 and asked him what he knew about a transaction involving one Peter Calis.

Prosecution also asked the witness how he (Peter Calis) got the account of Ismalob (second defendant)

The witness replied that he transacted with the said Calis in cash following instructions from the first defendant, Mustapha.

He also told the court that he never reported any of the said cash inflows by Calis to the EFCC.

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