Wednesday, August 17, 2022

EFCC forced me to plead guilty, enter plea bargain: Mompha

Mr Mustapha posted on Instagram that EFCC blackmailed and intimidated him.

• August 4, 2022
Mompha [Photo credit: BBC]

Alleged internet fraudster Ismaila Mustapha (Mompha) has accused the Economic Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) of forcing him to plead guilty and enter a plea bargain for the eight-count charge he is facing bordering on the offences of conspiracy and money laundering. 

On Thursday, Mr Mustapha posted on Instagram that EFCC blackmailed and intimidated him. 

“Upon my release, I travelled outside Nigeria to check on the welfare and wellbeing of my family and returned to Nigeria shortly only for the EFCC corrupt lawyer, Rotimi Oyedepo rather than focus on the establishing his criminal case against me along with the EFCC operative Kaina Garba, chose to capitalise on the fact that I travelled to blackmail me into entering a plea bargain with EFCC,” said Mr Mustapha on Instagram, “else he would inform the judge I travelled and ensure my bail is revoked therefore making me have no choice than to dance to his tune.”

Mr Mustapha said he “succumbed and was told to pay N142 million to EFCC as compensation and also sign for a one-year imprisonment sentence which I was uncomfortable with, and they thereafter reduced it to N40 million and one-year imprisonment.” 

Pictures of the court documents accompany the Instagram post. 

Mr Mustapha’s reaction came a day after he had been declared wanted by the anti-corruption body. The agency, in a tweet, urged members of the public with information on his whereabouts to speak up. 

The EFCC said Mr Mustapha was wanted for laundering funds obtained through unlawful activities, false asset declaration and retention of alleged proceeds of crime.

EFCC spokesman Wilson Uwujaren did not respond to Peoples Gazette’s request for comments. 

In June, Justice Mojisola Dada of the Special Offences Court, Ikeja, Lagos, issued a bench warrant ordering the immediate arrest of Mr Mustapha over N6 billion fraud. He is facing prosecution along with his company, Ismalob Global Investment Limited.

Mr Mustapha pleaded not guilty to charges of conspiracy to launder funds obtained through unlawful activity, laundering of funds obtained through unlawful activity, and retention of proceeds of criminal conduct. Other charges include using property obtained from unlawful acts, possession of documents containing false pretence, and failure to disclose assets and properties.

The anti-graft agency accused Mr Mustapha of committing the offences between 2016 and 2019 in Lagos, conspiring with Ahmadu Mohammed, now at large, to obtain N5.9 billion by false pretence.

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