The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission in Lagos State on Monday tendered two documents in evidence against social media celebrity, Ismaila Mustapha, alias Mompha, charged with N6 billion money laundering.
It was tendered via a Federal Bureau of Investigation agent, Ayotunde Solademi, before an Ikeja Special Offences Court.
The documents are a report by the FBI and an investigative report on Mompha’s iPhone, which the agency claimed was used for fraudulent activities.
The witness was led in evidence by the EFCC counsel, Suleiman Suleiman.
The defence counsel, Kolawole Salami, objected to the admissibility of the two documents in evidence, arguing that they were public documents and must first be certified by the United States of America Consulate.
“The documents are not certified true copies and should not be admitted in court,” Salami said.
Justice Mojisola Dada, however, overruled him and upheld the submission of prosecution counsel, who insisted that the FBI documents were original.
“The documents do not require certification,” Dada said.
Solademi, who works at the Legal Attaché Office of the FBI in Nigeria, had informed the court that he retrieved an iPhone belonging to Mompha with a Faraday bag.
He said that FBI’s forensic operations revealed that Mustapha’s iPhone was used to send account details to a United Arab Emirates telephone number, searched for swift codes of a bank and had a compromised Microsoft 365 account.
The witness further told the court that the FBI discovered during analysis that Mompha’s iPhone was also used to change payment delivery from cheque to wire transfer.
Solademi said: “The iPhone had a compromised Microsoft 365 account, and attackers used a fraudulent domain to socially engineer communication to Mompha’s company.
“The iPhone was used to make three attempts to transfer funds.
“The first two failed, but the third was successful.”
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that Mustapha’s trial in absentia started on June 3, 2023 when a compliance officer with Access Bank PLC testified against him.
The prosecution had informed the court on May 15 that it had secured the arrest of Mustapha in collaboration with its international partners.
The court, on September 21, ordered the commencement of trial of the defendant in absentia after he failed to appear before it.
The EFCC had on January 22 arraigned Mustapha alongside his company, Ismalob Global Investment Limited, on eight counts bordering on N6 billion laundering.
The court had on June 22 issued a bench warrant for his arrest following his absence in court.
Dada also revoked the bail she granted the defendant.
The social media celebrity was equally absent in court on June 16.
NAN reports that on June 10, EFCC accused him of flouting the court’s order by travelling to Dubai, United Arab Emirates with a new international passport.
- Arewa Economic Forum commends Customs boss over response to SOS on border communities
- YABATECH creates diversity and inclusion department in line with FG policy
- Saka joins Arsenal’s growing injury list
- I have no hand in Mohbad’s death, coming home to clear my name – Naira Marley
- Mohbad: Lagos State Judiciary set to begin coroner’s inquest
The charges against Mompha include conspiracy to launder money obtained through unlawful activities and laundering of money obtained through unlawful activities.
The others are retention of proceeds of criminal conduct, use of property derived from an unlawful act, possession of a document containing false pretences and failure to disclose assets.
The case has been adjourned until November 1 for continuation of trial.