The Federal High Court in Lagos has ordered that Ismaila Mustapha aka Mompha, suspected Internet fraudsters, to be remanded in the prison custody.
The sitting judge, Justice Mohammed Liman Gabe the directive on Monday shortly after Mompha was arraigned before him on 14 counts ranging on fraud, money laundering and running a foreign exchange business without the regulation and permission of the Central Bank of Nigeria.
The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission accused that Mompha procured one Ismalob Global Investment Limited and kept in his bank account an average sum of N32.9bn between 2015 and 2018.
According to the anti-graft agency, Mompha “ought to have reasonably known that the money formed part of proceeds of unlawful act, to wit: fraud.”
He was also alleged of making a negotiation for foreign exchange transactions of different amount with various individuals despite not being an authorised seller assigned by the CBN.
Rotimi Oyedepo, the EFCC prosecuting counsel said, Mompha went against sections 5 and 29(1)(c) of the Foreign Exchange Monitoring and Miscellaneous (Provision) Act Cap F34 Laws of the Federation of Nigeria 2004 and he was liable to be punished under Section 29(2) of the same Act.
Mompha claims not guilty after the charges against him were read.
On request for the start of the trial date, the prosecution Counselasked Justice Liman to direct remanding of the defendant in the prison custody.
In response, the defence counsel, Mr. Gboyega Oyewole (SAN), said “I’m not against the application date for trial but bail application has already been filed for my client and same has been served on the prosecution”
The prosecution however, attested to have received the bail application but yet to read and react to it.
The case was adjourned till Friday, November 29, to hear arguments on the bail application and for a trial to start.