Mompha Left With N598k In His Account, Witness Tells Court As He’s Granted N100 million Bail

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Mompha has a bank account balance of only N598,000 witness tells Federal High Court in Ikoyi on Friday.

Mompha is accused of retaining an aggregate of N32.9bn in the bank account of his alleged firm, Ismalob Global Investment Limited, between 2015 and 2018.

Mompha was arraigned on Monday, alongside Ismalob Global Investment by the Economic Financial Crimes Commission.

Mompha who is facing a 14 count of alleged fraud, money laundering and runing a foreign exchange business without the authorization of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).

EFCC counsel Mr Rotimi Oyedepo presented three witnesses before Justice Mohammad Liman at the opening of the trial.

The first witness, Mrs Anne Ezekannagha, a CBN official, told the court that the CBN had no record of licensing Ismalob Global Investement Limited as a Bureau de Change (BDC) operator.

She stated that for the CBN to licence a firm as a BDC operator, such firm must show evidence of incorporation as a limited liability company by the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC), which comes with a transaction limit $5,000.

When asked by the defence counsel, Oyewole, if it was unlawful for an individual who has foreign currency in his domiciliary account to give foreign currency to a friend in exchange for naira, the CBN official said it would not be unlawful if it was not a commercial transaction.

However, if it becomes a commercial transaction which involves making profit, the it would be illegal, she said.

The second witness for EFCC, Peter Adegoke, explained to the judge that evidence showed that Mompha was the sole signatory to Ismalob Global’s naira account.

Reading from the firm’s statement of account, Adegoke told the court that between 2015 and October 2019, there was a total inflow of N18.5bn into the account, while a total of about N18bn moved out within the same period.

He further said that the account had a balance of N598,000.

Ikenna Okafor,a Benin City-based BDC operator who testified as the third prosecution witness, told the court that he did business with Ismalob Global Investment Limited through “one of its directors, Alhaji Ahmadu Mohammed.”

Okafor said Mohammed used to come to his base in Benin, Edo State, to buy Euro in the name of Ismalob Global Investment Limited.

“After negotiation with Ismalob Global Investment Limited through Alhaji Mohammed, he usually made payment into my account through Ismalob,” Okafor said.

Under cross-examination by Oyewole, Okafor said he met Mompha for the first time three days ago at the EFCC office in Ikoyi.

The BDC operator said he was himself detained for seven days by the EFCC before being released on an administrative bail during the week.

Justice Liman adjourned further proceedings till January 8, 2020.

Meanwhile, the judge admitted Mompha to bail in the sum of N100m with one surety who must be a landed property owner.

While also ordering him to deposit his passport with the Chief Registrar of the court and report at the EFCC office every fortnight to show that he has not left the country.