Mompha had revisited the EFCC office in Lagos to retrieve items seized from him last year, when he was arrested again.
The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has re-arrested Instagram celebrity, Ismaila Mustapha, aka Mompha.
Mompha was first arrested by the EFCC in October of 2019 for offences bordering on internet fraud and money laundering, and was arraigned before a Federal High Court.
At the time, an EFCC statement said Mompha “perpetrates his fraudulent activities under the guise of being a Bureau de Change operator. He is always seen with his little son flaunting huge amount of foreign currencies on his social media platforms.
“Investigations have also revealed that Ismaila is only using the BDC business he jointly owns with his siblings, as a decoy to launder his proceeds of crime.
“However, the suspect has volunteered useful information to the operatives and has admitted to be reasonably involved in the first two cases he was alleged to be involved in.”
Lightning strikes twice
Punch reports that Mompha was re-arrested on Friday, August 14, 2020, as he returned to the EFCC office in Ikoyi, Lagos to reclaim his five wristwatches, one Apple Air pod, one iPhone 8 smartphone and one pair of sunglasses.
The items were seized from him by the anti-graft agency last year.
Sequel to an application by his lawyer, Gboyega Oyewole (SAN), Justice Mohammed Liman had on July 24, 2020 ordered the EFCC to return the items to Mompha.
The judge ruled that since the items were not listed as exhibits in the money laundering charges filed against Mompha, the EFCC had no justification to continue to hold onto them.
The judge dismissed the submission by the EFCC that Mompha was still under investigation for a related offence, stating that there was nothing before the court to back the submission.
“Failure to release the property is illegal. As of today, no charge has been filed regarding the items. It is too long to withhold the applicant’s properties,” the judge had ruled.
Mompha had barely left the premises of the EFCC office after retrieving his belongings when operatives ambushed and arrested him for the second time of asking.
Mompha’s lawyer, Oyewole, has confirmed his re-arrest to the newspaper.
“I am filing processes tomorrow (Tuesday); they didn’t tell us why they are detaining him. They have not told us the basis for this re-arrest.
“As far as we are concerned, the EFCC is seeking to overreach the court because this is coming after we filed our no-case submission to the charges.
“When they had the opportunity to amend their charges, they didn’t and they are claiming that there is a new charge,” Oyewole said.
EFCC spokesperson, Dele Oyewale, said “the fresh arrest is unconnected to the existing charges in court. It is related to internet fraud.”
In your face
Dubai-based Mompha was first arrested on Friday, October 18, 2019 at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja as he made to return to the United Arab Emirates.
Often clean shaven and garishly attired, Mompha has a habit of flaunting his wealth and bling acquisitions on social media platforms, especially on Instagram.
Pulse understands that the EFCC had been working with the international police for months to rein in Mompha.
The EFCC has also been collaborating with the FBI and other international law enforcement agencies on a slew of internet fraud suspects of Nigerian descent littered across the globe.