For failing to meet his N200 million bail and other stringent conditions, the popular Nigerian internet celebrity, Ismaila Mustapha, alias Mompha, was on Wednesday, remanded in custody.
Mompha has had several run-ins with the EFCC in the last two years.
PREMIUM TIMES earlier reported that Justice Mojisola Dada of the Special Offences Court, Ikeja, on Wednesday, granted Mompha bail with ‘strict conditions’.
The controversial businessman was ordered to be remanded in any Correctional Centre of his choice pending the fulfilment of the bail conditions.
After the court hearing, there was a little delay inside the courtroom.
The lead counsel, Gboyega Oyewole, told journalists present that while attempting to meet up with the ‘strong bail conditions’, the judge had magnanimously granted his client the opportunity to choose any of the Correctional Centres in the State, where he would be remanded until he fulfils the conditions for his bail.
Mompha, after consultation with his legal team, opted to be remanded at the Ikoyi Correctional centre in Lagos.
This followed his inability to meet the bail conditions required from him by the court.
Mompha and his company, Ismalob Global Investment Ltd., were arraigned by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) over alleged N6 billion fraud on January 12.
The EFCC arrested Mompha on January 10 before arraigning him at the Ikeja Special Offences Court on an eight
At Tuesday’s proceedings, Mompha’s counsel moved the bail application for his client through an 18-paragraph affidavit containing eight exhibits.
Mr Oyewole said: “It’s a bailable offence and most important is that the defendant is also standing trial on 22 counts before a Federal High Court, Ikoyi, Lagos for a more grievous offence before Justice Mohammed Liman, who also admitted him to bail.
“The prosecution has called 10 witnesses and he has never missed court.”
Oyewole further told the Court that Justice Liman, who has been transferred out of jurisdiction to Kano, “has got fiat to continue the case and we are constitutionally empowered to have access to our client.
“We, therefore, plead that he should be admitted to bail,” he added.
Opposing the bail application, the prosecuting counsel, Rotimi Oyedepo, through a 19-page counter-affidavit, including three exhibits, prayed the Court to instead grant an accelerated hearing of the case.
Justice Dada was, however, not persuaded by the arguments canvassed by the defence urging the court to grant Mompha bail on liberal terms.
She noted firmly the arguments of the prosecution hinged on the fact that Mompha was yet to return his international passport.
She said: “I am not satisfied that 16 months after, the international passport is yet to be returned,” Justice Dada held, and, thereafter, granted Mompha bail in the sum of N200 million, with two sureties in like sum, one of whom must own a property within jurisdiction worth N100 million.
The two sureties must also be gainfully employed, depose to an affidavit of means, and must give the approval to have a lien placed on their bank accounts.
Mompha was also ordered to submit his international passport to the Court, as a necessary condition to fulfil the bail conditions.
She ruled: “Both sureties must depose to an affidavit of means to allow the placement of a lien in their respective bank accounts, both sureties must be gainfully employed and resident within the jurisdiction of this court.”
“The sureties must provide proof of tax payment for the past three years. The applicant shall however be remanded in a Correctional Center of his choice pending the perfection of his bail.”
Mompha is further accused of using a false document titled “SELECT MILK PRODUCER J.P. Morgan”, to defraud Continental Diary Facilitate Southwest LLC.
The EFCC is also accusing him of colluding with Olayinka Jimoh (aka Nappy Boy) to retain an aggregate sum of N52,000,000 between January 28, 2019, and February 11, 2019, believed to be proceeds of criminal conduct.
He, however, pleaded not guilty to the charge when it was read to him in court.
The eight-count charges are 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 unlawful acts, possession of documents containing false pretence and failure to disclose assets and properties.
Following his plea, the prosecuting counsel, Rotimi Oyedepo, had prayed the court for a trial date and the remand of the defendant.
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