Court grants Mompha N100m bail, remands his Lebanese associate in prison

A Federal High Court sitting in Lagos on Friday granted N100m bail to, Ismaila Mustapha, aka Mompha, over alleged N33billion fraud.
The EFCC had arrested the Instagram celebrity on October 19, 2019, at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja. He was remanded in the commission’s custody following a court order.

Meanwhile, Mompha's Lebanese associate, Hamza Koudeih, has been remanded in prison for “internet fraud and money laundering”.

A federal high court in Lagos remanded Koudeih, alongside one Kayode Phillip, also an associate of Mompha.

On Thursday, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) arraigned the duo before Justice Muslim Hassan on a 25-count charge bordering on conspiracy and money laundering.
According to EFCC’s spokesman, Wilson Uwujaren, “the defendants, who are high-valued targets in Organized Cyber Syndicate Network (OCSN), were arrested for their alleged involvement in various cyber crimes and money laundering.”

One of the count reads: “That you, Kayode Phillip (a.k.a Voice of the King) and Hamza Koudeih (a.k.a. HK) sometime in May, 2019 within the jurisdiction of this honourable court conspired among yourselves to commit an offence to wit: conversion of the aggregate sum of $7, 069, 000 (seven million, sixty-nine thousand United States dollars), £1, 000, 000 (one million pounds) and €80,000 (eighty thousand euro), which sum you reasonably ought to have known form part of the proceeds of fraud and you thereby committed an offence contrary to sections 18 (a), 15 (2)(d) of the money laundering prohibition act, 2015 and punishable under section 15(3) of the same act.”

The defendants took a “not guilty” plea when the charges were read out to them in open court.

EFCC counsel, Abass Mohammed, prayed the court to fix a date for the trial to commence and asked that the defendants be remanded in correctional service custody as the detention facilities of the EFCC had been over-stretched.

Oladele Falana, counsel to the first defendant, informed the court that he had filed a bail application on behalf of his client and served same on the prosecution today.

Consequently, the judge fixed December 5, 2019, for hearing of the bail application and ordered that the defendants be remanded in the Nigerian correctional service custody.

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