Justice Mojisola Dada of the Special Offences Court sitting in Ikeja, Lagos, on June 2, 2022, further adjourned till June 6, 2022 the ongoing trial of one Ismaila Mustapha, also known as Mompha, and his company, Ismalob Global Investment Limited, to enable both the Economic and Financial and Crimes Commission, EFCC, and the defendant to give “report” on the terms of a plea bargain being worked on.
Mompha, alongside his company, Ismalob Global Investment Limited, was arraigned by the 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.
The defence led by Gboyega Oyewole, SAN had, on March 28, 2022, told the Court that its 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,” the defence had said.
Consequently, the Judge had adjourned till April 6, 2022.
During the April 6, 2022 proceedings, the prosecuting counsel, S.I. Suleiman, had informed the Court that both parties were “in the process towards a plea bargain.”
He had, therefore, prayed the court for some more time.
In his response, Kolawole Salami, who held the brief of Oyewole, had confirmed the position of the prosecution, saying, “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 (today).
At today’s proceedings, both parties informed the Court that the terms of a plea bargain agreement were yet to be reached.
Thereafter, Justice Dada adjourned the case till June 6, 2022 for further report.