By ADENIKE AYODELE
IKEJA- The absence of the defence counsel to Ismaila Mustapha (alias Mompha), on Wednesday stalled the trial in the alleged six billion Naira money laundering against him.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Justice Mojisola Dada of an Ikeja Special Offences Court adjourned the case until Dec. 16 for trial, following the absence of the defence counsel, Mr Gboyega Oyewole (SAN).
The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) counsel, Mr Suleiman Suleiman had earlier informed the court that the prosecution was in court with two witnesses as the court had fixed the date for commencement of trial.
Suleiman, however, informed the court of the absence of the lead defence counsel.
“There is no representation for the defence and I tried reaching the junior counsel who said that the SAN ought to be here,” he said.
NAN reports that court had on Sept. 21 ordered the begining of trial of the defendant in absentia after he failed to appear before the court.
The EFCC had on Jan. 22 arraigned Mompha alongside his company, Ismalob Global Investment Ltd., on eight counts of six billion Naira laundering.
The court had on June 22 issued a bench warrant for Mustapha’s arrest following his absence in court.
Dada also revoked the bail she granted the defendant.
The social media celebrity was equally absent in court on June 16.
On June 10, EFCC accused him of flouting the court’s order by travelling to Dubai with a new international passport.
The charge against Mustapha include conspiracy to launder money obtained through unlawful activities, and laundering of money obtained through unlawful activities.
Others are retention of proceeds of criminal conduct, use of property derived from an unlawful act, possession of a document containing false pretences, and failure to disclose assets. (NAN)