The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has re-arrested popular Nigerian big boy, Ismaila Mustapha, aka Mompha, who is currently facing money laundering charges before the Federal High Court .
It was reported that Mompha was re-arrested last Friday when he visited the EFCC office in Ikoyi, Lagos to reclaim his five wristwatches, one Apple Air pod, one iPhone 8 mobile phone and one pair of sunglasses, that were seized from him by the agency.
Following an application by his lawyer, Mr Gboyega Oyewole (SAN), Justice Mohammed Liman ordered the EFCC to release the items to Mompha on the 24th of July.
Justice Liman ruled that since the items were not listed as exhibits in the money laundering charges filed against Mompha, the EFCC had no justification to continue holding onto them.
The judge dismissed the submission by the anti-graft agency that Mompha was still under investigation for another offence, saying that 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.
According to reports, Mompha had barely left the premises of the EFCC office in Ikoyi after collecting his seized items, when some EFCC operatives waylaid him and took him into custody.
Mompha’s lawyer, Oyewole, who confirmed the re-arrest to PUNCH, vowed to challenge it in court.
“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 .” Oyewole said.
When contacted, the spokesman for the EFCC , Mr Dele Oyewale, said that Mompha’s fresh arrest is unconnected to the existing charges in court. He added that his arrest this time is related to Internet fraud.