The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission of Nigeria has re-arrested popular social media celebrity, Ismaila Mustapha, better known by his nickname Mompha.
Mompha is facing charges of money laundering before a Federal High Court. He was reportedly re-arrested last Friday when he went to the EFCC office in Ikoyi, Lagos to reclaim his items in their custody.
The items alleged to include five wristwatches, one Apple Air pod, one iPhone 8 mobile phone and one pair of sunglasses were seized from him by the anti-graft agency the time he was initially arrested.
Following an application by Mompha’s 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 the items were not listed as exhibits in the money laundering charges filed against Mompha and the EFCC had no justification to continue keeping the items.
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 cornered him and took him back into custody.
His lawyer, Oyewole, confirmed Mompha’s re-arrest to reporters and promises to challenge the new arrest in court.
Mompha’s counsel Gboyega 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.”