Court grants Mompha extension for plea bargain

An Ikeja special offences court will, on June 10, take a final report on the plea bargain in the case of N6 billion money laundering against social media celebrity, Ismaila Mustapha, popularly known as Mompha.

Justice Mojisola Dada gave the date after the defence and prosecution counsel prayed for an extension of time.

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), had on January 12, arraigned Mustapha and his company, Ismalob Global Investment Ltd., on an eight-count charge.

The counts include conspiracy to launder money obtained through unlawful activities, and laundering of money obtained through unlawful activities.

The other charges include retention of proceeds of criminal conduct, use of property derived from an unlawful act, possession of documents containing false pretences, and failure to disclose assets.

On Thursday, Kolawole Salami, defence counsel, who held a brief for Gboyega Oyewole (SAN), informed the court that there was an ongoing discussion on a plea bargain with EFCC.

He prayed to the court for an extension of time for both parties to reach a conclusion.

“My lord, the matter was adjourned until today for the report. We, on our part, have submitted a proposal to EFCC, but we received its own proposal just yesterday.

“In furtherance of that, a meeting was held at the prosecution’s office at 4.00 p.m. to discuss the terms of the proposal. We made considerable progress at the meeting yesterday. We both agreed on one or two areas.

“We shall be praying for a short date to report, but if we are not able to reach a conclusion, we shall proceed to trial, my lord”, Salami said.

S.I. Suleiman, EFCC counsel, confirmed the position of defence and also prayed for an adjournment.

“We confirm the position of defence, my lord. We reached out to the defence team and the parties met at the prosecution’s office yesterday. We need a little fine-tuning, my lord, as we humbly ask for your indulgence to extend the date for the report”, Suleiman said.

The prosecution had informed the court on April 6 that both parties were in the process of a plea bargain, and prayed to the court for adequate time.

The court, had on March 28, reduced the bail sum for the defendant, from N200 million to N25 million.

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