The trial of Ismaila Mustapha, also known as Mompha, and his company, Ismalob Global Investment Limited, before Justice Mojisola Dada of the Special Offences Court sitting in Ikeja, Lagos continued on Wednesday, April 6, 2022, with both the prosecution and defence giving the court the “report” on the plea bargain being worked on.
Mompha was arraigned by the Lagos Zonal Command of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, on January 12, 2022 on eight counts bordering on conspiracy to launder funds obtained through unlawful activity, retention of proceeds of criminal conduct, laundering of funds obtained through unlawful activity, failure to disclose assets and property, possession of documents containing false pretence and use of property derived from unlawful act.
One of the counts reads: “Ismaila Mustapha, Ahmadu Mohammed (at large) and Ismalob Global Investment Limited, sometime in 2016, in Lagos, within the jurisdiction of this Honourable Court, conspired amongst yourselves to conduct financial transactions to the tune of N5,998,884,653.18 ( Five Billion Nine Hundred and Ninety-eight Million Eight Hundred and Eighty-four Thousand Six Hundred and Fifty-three Naira Eighteen Kobo) with the intent of promoting the carrying on of specified unlawful activities to wit: Obtaining by false pretence.”
He pleaded “not guilty” to the charges.
At the last sitting on March 28, 2022, the defence team led by Gboyega Oyewole, SAN, had informed the Court that his client intended to engage the prosecution on a plea bargain.
“Most important, my lord, is that the defendant wants to engage the prosecution on the charges,” he had said.
At today’s proceedings, the prosecuting counsel, S.I. Suleiman, informed the Court that both parties were “in the process towards a plea bargain.”
He, therefore, prayed the court for some more time.
In his response, Kolawole Salami, who held the brief of Oyewole, confirmed the position of the prosecution.
“The defendant wants his peace of mind and still maintains his no-guilty plea,” he added.
The case was, thereafter, adjourned till Thursday, June 2, 2022.