By Mike Ojo,
The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission has re-arrested Internet fraudster, Ismaila Mustapha, aka Mompha, who is facing money laundering charges before the Federal High Court.
Mompha was re-arrested last Friday when he went to the EFCC office in Ikoyi, Lagos to reclaim his five wristwatches, one Apple Air pod, one iPhone 8 mobile phone and one pair of sunglasses, seized from him by the anti-graft agency.
Following an application by his lawyer, Mr Gboyega Oyewole (SAN), Justice Mohammed Liman had on July 24 ordered the EFCC to release the items to Mompha.
The judge ruled that since the items were not listed as exhibits in the money laundering charges filed against Mompha, the EFCC had no justification to continue to hold onto them.
He dismissed the submission by the EFCC that Mompha was still under investigation for another offence, saying there was nothing before the court to back the submission.
“Failure to release the property is illegal. As of today, no charge has been file regarding the items. It is too long to withhold the applicant properties,” the judge had held.
It was gathered that Mompha had barely left the premises of the EFCC office in Ikoyi after collecting the items on Friday, when operatives of the anti-graft agency waylaid him and took him into custody.
His lawyer, Oyewole, confirmed the re-arrest to our correspondent, vowing to challenge it in court.
Oyewole said, “I am filing processes tomorrow (Tuesday); they didn’t tell us why they are detaining him. They have not told us the basis for this re-arrest. As far as we are concerned, the EFCC is seeking to overreach the court because this is coming after we filed our no-case submission to the charges.
“When they had the opportunity to amend their charges they didn’t and they are claiming that there is a new charge.”
When contacted, the spokesman for the EFCC, Mr Dele Oyewale, said, “The fresh arrest is unconnected to the existing charges in court. It is related to Internet fraud.”