Court orders trial in absentia of Instagram influencer, Mompha

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Justice Mojisola Dada of the Ikeja Special Offences Court has ordered the continuation of the trial of Instagram influencer, Ismaila Mustapha, better known as Mompha, in absentia.

Justice Dada gave the order on Wednesday following Mompha’s recurrent absence in court for his trial.

On June 22, the judge revoked the bail granted to Mompha and issued a bench warrant for his arrest

What happened in court

When the matter was called up on Wednesday, Abbas Mohammed, EFCC’s counsel, told the judge that efforts made to arrest Mompha have not been fruitful.

Consequently, he prayed the court for the trial to be continued in Mompha’s absence.

He said “We also wrote letters to our counterpart to secure the presence of the defendant to this Honourable court.

“My lord, we shall be asking for another date to enable prosecution of the defendant on trial in absentia.

Mr Kolawale Salami, also aligned with the prosecution that the trial should be continued in Mompha’s absence.

Justice Dada granted the request and ruled that the trial of the defendant will continue in his absence. She then adjourned until November 16, for a continuation of trial.

Make sure you bring your witnesses on that date,” the judge added.

Backstory

  • Mompha was arraigned on January 12, on offences bordering on money laundering and the use of properties derived from unlawful acts.
  • He pleaded not guilty to the charges proffered against him and was at first granted bail in the sum of N200 million which was later slashed to N25 million by the court.
  • Mompha is being prosecuted by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission alongside his company, Ismalob Global Investment Ltd over alleged N6 billion money laundering.
  • On June 10, the EFCC accused Mompha of flouting court orders and traveling to Dubai with a new passport.
  • Following Mompha’s failure to appear in court twice for the continuation of his trial, the judge issued a bench warrant for his arrest.

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