A Federal High Court sitting in Lagos, south west Nigeria today, 10 December, 2020, dismissed a ‘no case submission’ filed by internet celebrity, Ismaila Mustapha, alias Mompha, saying he has case to answer.
Mompha was arraigned alongside a company called Ismalob Global Investment Ltd by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) on 22 -count charge bordering on fraud, money laundering, running a foreign exchange business without the authorisation of the Central Bank of Nigeria and declaration of false audit report
In his ruling on ‘no case submission filed by his lawyer, the presiding Judge, Mohammed Liman while dismissing the application declared that from the evidence aduce before the court by the prosecution witnesses on various counts of the charge, a prima facie case has been established by the prosecution against the defendants. Therefore, the defendant has explanations to make on issues of retention of funds in Islamob account, money laundering, dealing in foreign exchange without authorization from the Central Bank of Nigeria and declaration of false audit report.
Consequently, “the no case submission’ is overruled” and the defendant is hereby called upon to enter defence” the judge ordered.
Thereafter,Justice Liman adjourned till March 10,,2021 for the defendant to open his defence.”
Justice Liman, had on October 14, 2020 adjourned the case for ruling, after listening to submissions by the prosecution and defence counsels.
EFCC had accused the defendant of procuring Ismalob Global Investment Ltd company and retaining in its account, an aggregate sum of N32.9billion between 2015 and 2018.
The prosecution closed its case on July 17, after calling its 10th witness, while the court adjourned for the defendant to open his defence.
However, on October 14, defence counsel, Mr Gboyega Oyewole, (SAN), told the court that he had filed a ‘no case submission’ .
Consequently, Oyewole SAN adopted the arguments contained in his written address in support of his argument that the prosecution had failed to establish a prima facie case against the defendant and urged the court to uphold his submission
Responding, the EFCC Counsel, Mr Suleiman Suleiman, urged the court to determine whether the evidence adduced by prosecution has sufficiently linked the defendant to the offences to warrant him to be called upon to open his defence and make explanations.
He also adopted his submissions and urged the court to call upon the defendant to enter his defence.