Mompha’s lawyer shuns court as Instagram celebrity remains missing

Ismaila Mustapha Mompha

The trial of Instagram celebrity Ismaila Mustapha alias Mompha for allegedly laundering N6 billion was on Wednesday stalled due to the absence of the defence counsel.

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) counsel Suleiman Suleiman had informed the Ikeja Special Offences Court that the prosecution was in court with two witnesses.

Suleiman, however, told the court that the lead defence counsel Gboyega Oyewole was absent.

“There is no representation for the defence and I tried reaching the junior counsel who said that the SAN ought to be here,” he said.

The court had on September 21 ordered the beginning of Mompha’s trial in absentia after he failed to appear before the court.

Mompha and his company Ismalob Global Investment Ltd were arraigned on January 22 on eight counts of money laundering.

On June 22, the court issued a bench warrant for Mompha’s arrest.

Dada also revoked the bail she granted the defendant.

The social media celebrity was equally absent in court on June 16.

On June 10, the EFCC accused him of flouting the court’s order by travelling to Dubai with a new passport.

The charges against Mompha include conspiracy to launder money obtained through unlawful activities, and laundering of money obtained through unlawful activities.

Others are retention of proceeds of criminal conduct, use of property derived from an unlawful act, possession of a document containing false pretence, and failure to disclose assets.

Justice Mojisola Dada adjourned the case until December 16 for trial.