The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) on Thursday filed an application to stop social media celebrity Ismaila Mustapha, aka Mompha, from travelling abroad to see his family.
Mompha is on trial at a Federal High Court in Lagos on an alleged N33billion money laundering and cyber fraud charge.
He and his firm, Ismalob Global Investment Ltd, were on March 4, 2020 re-arraigned before Justice Mohammed Liman on 22 counts.
They were first arraigned on a 14-count charge last November 25, following his arrest last October 19, at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja.
The anti-graft agency said the defendant is based in Dubai, the United Arab Emirates (UAE).
The Commission alleged that Mompha is a major figure in an organised transnational cyber fraud network, adding that he used Ismalob Investment to launder the funds, part of which he used in acquiring properties in Dubai.
At the resumed sitting on Thursday, Mompha’s counsel Gboyega Oyewole (SAN) concluded his cross-examination of an EFCC investigator, Kaina Garba, before informing the judge of the application.
Garba and three Bureau De Change (BDC) operators had on Wednesday testified against Mompha during examination-in-chief by EFCC counsel Rotimi Oyedepo.
Gboyega said: “My lord, we have filed an application for the first defendant to be allowed to travel abroad so he can check on his family.”
But the EFCC said it had filed a counter application which was still at the court’s registry.
The agency’s counsel prayed the court for another date by which time his application would be in the court’s file.
Justice Liman granted the prayer and adjourned till April 15 to hear both applications.
In the charge, the EFCC alleged that Mompha procured Ismalob Global Investiment Ltd to retain N33.006,026,806 billion between 2015 and 2018.
He was also alleged to have failed to inform the anti-graft agency in writing within seven days before making transferring huge sums of money to several people, including Ikechukwu Kingsley; Ojei Osemeke; one Onuskin; Okafor Ikenna; Ik Tony Global Communication; Ogbu C &C Ventures.