By Uche Amunike
Owing to about eight counts that border on conspiracy to launder money obtained through unlawful activities, the use of property gotten illegally, possession of documents containing false pretenses and failure to declare assets, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, has declared Mompha wanted for fraud.
The media celebrity, popularly called Mompha, but whose real name is Ismailia Mustapha has been charged, alongside his company, Ismalob Global Investment Ltd for various illegal activities.
On June 30, Mompha was to be tried for an alleged N6 billion before Justice Mojisola Dada of the Ikeja Special Offences Court, but he was absent, thereby stalling his trial. This led to Justice Dada issuing a bench warrant for his arrest. Justice Dada also revoked the bail that was granted to him. Mompha was absent in court on June 16.
As the EFCC declares Mompha wanted, a notice which was signed by its spokesman, Wilson Uwajaren and released to Newsmen stated thus: ‘The general public is hereby notified that ISMAILA MUSTAPHA, whose photograph appears above, is wanted by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) in an alleged case of Retention of Proceeds of Criminal Conduct, Possession of Document Containing False Pretences, False Asset Declaration and Laundering of Proceeds of Unlawful Conduct.
‘Ismaila, 38, hails from Ogbomosho Local Govt Area of Oyo State. His last know address: 21, Fagbenro Street, Idi-Araba, Surulere, Lagos State.’
‘Anybody with useful information as to his whereabouts should please contact the commission in its Benin, Kaduna, Ibadan, Sokoto, Gombe, Maiduguri, Makurdi, llorin, Enugu, Kano, Lagos, Gombe, Port Harcourt and Abuja offices or through these numbers 09-9044751-3, 08093322644, 08183322644, 070- 26350721-3, 070-6350724-5; its e-mail address: email@example.com or the nearest Police Station and other security agencies’.
In the last two years, Mompha has had several encounters with the anti-graft agency. In January, after he made public, his trip to Nigeria, which he captioned ‘About to make some billions in Lagos’, he got re-arrested. He has since deleted all his Instagram posts and has quit updating his over 1.4 million followers on Instagram about his daily activities and showing of his luxury lifestyle in his usual manner. He is alleged to have received illicit funds on behalf of Yahoo boys from across the world in exchange for a commission with the use of his registered companies.
Meanwhile, one of his companies, Ismalob Global Ventures Investment Ltd Bank was also allegedly used for laundering money gotten from unlawful activities. It is a Bureau de Change company which is domiciled in Zenith Bank Plc.
Mompha was then remanded in the EFCC custody but was eventually granted a bail of N200m, which he ended up not fulfilling. The bail sum was later reduced to N25m.
Mompha once claimed that the EFCC advised him to keep a low profile after his friend, Abbas Ramon, alias Hushpuppi was indicted in a $1.1m international fraud conspiracy by American Law Enforcement, but the anti-graft agency debunked his claims through a statement.