Money laundering: Court adjourns  Morpha’s trial till Jan. 15

The scheduled commencement of trial of alleged internet fraudster, Ismail Mustapha popularly called Mopha, before a Federal High Court, Lagos, has been adjourned till next Wednesday, January 15, 2020.

The adjournment was sequel to the on going Christmas/New year vacation that is been observed by the Court.

The new date was fixed at the instance of Morpha’s lawyer, Ademola Adefolaju who stood in for Mr. Gboyega Oyewole (SAN) and a lawyer from the anti-graft agency, who were in court today.

Morpha was on November 25, 2019, arraigned before the court on allegedly laundered of N33 billion by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).

He was arraigned before the court alongside his firms; Ismalob Global Investments Limited, on a 14 count-charge of the offence.

The prosecuting agency, the EFCC, had alleged that Morpha procured his company, Ismalob Global Investment Limited, to retained the aggregate some of N18, 059,353,413 billion between 2015 and 2019.

He was also alleged to aided his company to retained the sum of N14, 946, 773, 393 billon between 2015 and 2017. While also accused of not complying with the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and Federal Ministry of Trades and Investment in carrying out financial transactions.

The EFCC further accused Morpha’s and his firm to have unlawfully negotiated a Foreign Exchange transaction with total sum of N630, 125, 900 million, for some individuals.

Those listed in the charge as those transacted business with the defendant are; Mr. Ikechukwu Kingsley Onuzulike;  Mr. Ojei Osemike, Mr. Okafor lkenna and  M Tony Global Communications.

The offences according to the EFCC contravened sections 18(c) and 15(2)(d) of the Money Laundering Prohibition Act,2011 as amended and punishable under section 15 (3) of the same Act. 

Morpha had pleaded not guilty to all the counts and he has been admitted to bail in various terms by Justice Mohammed Liman.

One of the counts reads: “that you lsmaila Mustapha and Ismalob Global Investments Limited, on or about the 17th day of December, 2015, within the jurisdiction of this Honourable Court, not being an authorized seller appointed by the Central Bank of Nigeria pursuant to Section 5(1) of Foreign Exchange Monitoring and Miscellaneous (Provisions) Act CAP F34 LFN 2004 negotiated a foreign exchange transaction in the sum of N9,416,700.00 aw (Nine Million Four Hundred and Sixteen Thousand Seven Hundred Naira) with Mr. Ikechukwu Kingsley Onuzulike and you thereby committed an offence contrary to Sections 5 and 29(1)(c) of the Foreign Exchange Monitoring and Miscellaneous (Provisions) Act Cap F34 LFN 2004 and punishable under Section 29(2) of the same Act”.

Another count reads; “that you, lsmaila Mustapha and Ismalob Global investments Limited within the jurisdiction of this Honourable Court, sometimes being a Designated Non-Financial institution (“DNFI”) failed to comply with the requirements of submitting to the Federal Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment a declaration of your activities as specified under section 5(1)1a) of the Money Laundering (Prohibition) Act, 2011 (as amended) and you thereby committed an offence punishable under section 16(1) (b) of the same Act”. 

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