A Federal High Court in Lagos has granted an order of interim forfeiture of 11 high-end designer, which was confiscated from social media celebrity, Ismaila Mustapha, popularly known as Mompha by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC). The items are five luxury wristwatches, an iPhone 8, and five luxury sunglasses which were confiscated from Mompha at the Nnamdi Azikwe International Airport, Abuja on October 19, 2019, when he was arrested by the EFCC.
The order of interim forfeiture was granted by Justice Lewis Allagoa on Friday after hearing an ex-parte application argued by EFCC’s lawyer, Chinenye Ugwoke.
In November 2019, Mompha and Ismalob Global Investment, both listed as respondents in the suit, have been facing 14 charges on allegation of laundering N32.9 billion.
EFCC informed the judge that the said items were “found in the possession of the first respondent (Mompha), which property/asset is reasonably suspected to be proceeds of unlawful activities and presently in the lawful custody of the applicant.”
The commission supported its application with an affidavit by an investigating officer, Mr. Bot Dachung in EFCC’s Advanced Fee Fraud (AFF) unit.
Dachung said, “If the properties listed in the schedule to this application are not temporarily and timeously forfeited, efforts of the ongoing investigation relating to internet/cyber-related crimes and possible prosecution would be brought to a nought.”
According to the anti-graft agency, various intelligence reports revealed that Mompha has links with several cybercrime-related activities.
On October 12, 2020, Justice Liman dismissed Mompha’s ‘no case’ application in his suit with the EFCC. The Judge said the anti-graft agency had established a prima facie case against Mompha which requires him to explain himself.