An Ikeja Special Offences Court presided over by Justice Mojisola Dada, had admitted more documentary evidence in the ongoing trial of a social media celebrity, Ismaila Mustapha a.k.a. Mompha in absentia.
Recall that Mompha’s trial commenced before the court in absentia on June 3.
Mompha is answering questions to an eight-count charge bordering on conspiracy and money laundering to the tune of over N6 billion slammed against him by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC.
The social media celebrity was arraigned alongside his firm, Ismalob Global Investment Limited.
The documents tendered by the counsel to the anti-graft agency included a report by the US-based Federal Bureau of Investigation, FBI, and an investigative report on Mompha’s iPhone, which the agency claimed was used for fraudulent practices.
However, Mompha’s lawyer, Kolawole Salami, objected to the admissibility of the documents as evidence on the grounds that since they are public documents, they must first be certified by the United States Consulate.
According to Salami, “The documents are not a Certified True Copy, CTC, and should not be admitted in court”.
But Justice Dada overruled the defence counsel’s objection and upheld the submission of the prosecution, who maintained that the FBI documents were original.
Justice Dada in her ruling held that, “The documents do not require any certification.”
Earlier, during the cross-examination of the prosecution’s witness, the defence counsel, Salami, had called for the documents labelled as exhibit P2 and P3.
Salami contended that the FBI documents are not to be used in a legal proceeding except after a separate communication has been made.
The prosecution witness, Solademi, in his testimony, posited that the communication from the FBI allowed for the use of the documents in court.
Solademi, who works at the Legal Attaché office of the FBI in Nigeria, informed the court that he had retrieved an iPhone belonging to Mompha with a Faraday bag.
He said the FBI’s forensic operations revealed that Mompha’s iPhone was used to send account details to a United Arab Emirates (UAE) telephone number, search for Swift Codes of a bank, and had a compromised Microsoft 365 account.
“The iPhone had a compromised Microsoft 365 account and attackers used a fraudulent domain to socially engineer communication to their Mompha’s company”, Solademi maintained.
The prosecution witness also told the court that the FBI discovered, during analysis, that Mompha’s iPhone was also used to change payment delivery from cheque to wire transfer, after a third attempt.
Solademi said: “The iPhone was used to make three attempts to transfer funds. The first two failed, but the third was successful.”The matter has been adjourned until November 1, 2023.
Mompha was arrested on January 10, 2022, by EFCC, arraigned before the court, and was granted bail.
The defendant has, since then, failed to appear in court on two scheduled dates for his trial.