The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, Lagos Zonal office on Wednesday re-arraigned Ismaila Mustapha, aka Mompha, before Justice Mohammed Liman of a Federal High Court sitting in Ikoyi, Lagos for alleged N32.9 billion fraud.
Mompha was first arraigned alongside his company, Ismalob Ventures, on November 25, 2019 on a 14-count charge bordering on fraud, money laundering and running a foreign exchange business without the authorisation of the Central Bank of Nigeria.
The defendant had pleaded “not guilty” to the charge and was granted bail in the sum of N100 million with one surety in like sum.
The prosecution subsequently opened its case and presented witnesses from the CBN and the Special Control Unit against Money Laundering.
At the resumed sitting on Wednesday, counsel for the EFCC, Rotimi Oyedepo, informed the court of a second amended charge against the defendant and also urged the court to allow a fresh plea by the defendant.
The amended 22-count charge was, thereafter, read to the defendant, who again pleaded “not guilty”.
In view of his plea, the defence counsel, Gboyega Oyewole (SAN), urged the court to grant a short adjournment to enable him study the new charge.
Oyewole further told the court that he had only seen the new charge a few minutes before the court commenced sitting.
Oyewole, therefore, urged the court to allow him study same.
Justice Liman granted the prayers of the defence and adjourned the matter to March 18, 2020 for continuation of trial.