Popular Nigerian socialite, Ismail Mustapha, widely known as Mompha has dismissed the claims that the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) re-arrested him.
The anti-graft agency’s counsel, on Monday, informed the special offences court sitting in Ikeja that Mompha has been re-arrested.
The socialite was arraigned for hearing in the alleged N6 billion fraud trial and the case was later adjourned till July 3, 2023 for the continuation of trial.
But in an Instagram post on Friday, the social media celebrity tackled the EFCC, saying he was not in Nigeria when the commission announced his re-arrest.
He argued that the “motive of the EFCC is to witch-hunt me and use my name to trend”.
Mompha also slammed the commission over what he described as “the insensible media trial”.
“Contrary to the recent publication in most media platforms in Nigeria that I, Mompha was rearrested by the EFCC,” he said.
“I want to use this medium to expose the corrupt and mischievous commission again that I was neither rearrested nor am I in the custody of the EFCC.
“This assertion by the EFCC is laughable because I am currently not in Nigeria more or less rearrested either in Nigeria.
“I hereby urge the commission to desist from this insensible media trial and stop misleading people through the press/ media that I am in your custody and would produce me before the Court on the 3rd of July.
“It has now become very clear that the only motive of the EFCC is to witch-hunt me and use my name Mompha to trend anytime they are looking for cheap media relevance. One would think Mompha would be the least of their worries during this period of change in government and occupy themselves with the task of going after the corrupt politicians who are impoverishing the ordinary Nigerians.
“I want to thank my teeming fans and well-wishers, who are concerned about my wellbeing and safety and I want to assure you all that I and my family are fine and currently enjoying ourselves in Dubai, away from the intimidation and harassment of the EFCC and the corrupt Nigeria judicial system.”
On January 12, 2022, the Lagos zonal command of the EFCC arraigned Mompha alongside Ismalob Global Investment Limited, his company, on eight-count charges.
The charges was on conspiracy to launder funds received through unlawful activity, retention of proceeds of criminal conduct, laundering of funds obtained through unlawful activity, failure to disclose assets and property, possession of documents containing false pretence and use of property derived from an unlawful act.
Mompha, however, pleaded not guilty to the charges.
In June 2022, EFCC also informed the court that Mompha had another passport aside from the one submitted to the court, as part of his bail conditions.
The agency argued that he had used the passport to travel from Ghana to Dubai on April 11, 2022, via Emirates Airlines in violation of the court order.
Consequently, Mojisola Dada, the presiding judge, revoked the N25 million bail variation granted to him and also issued a bench warrant for his arrest over his failure to appear in court.
The EFCC had also declared him wanted.
However, since June 16, 2022, Mompha was said to have absconded from the trial, even as the EFCC continued with efforts to secure his arrest and appearance in court.
Following his continued absence in court and the inability of the prosecution as well as the defence to produce him in court, the judge, on September 22, 2022, ordered that the trial would continue in absentia.
Last year, Mompha accused the agency of blackmail and intimidation.
He was first arrested on October 19, 2019, at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport in Abuja. Mompha was later freed after the Federal High Court in Ikoyi, Lagos granted him bail in the sum of N100 million in bond.