The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has denied advising a Nigerian Bureau De Change (BDC) operator, Ismaila Mustapha, a.k.a Mompha, to keep a low profile after the arrest of his friend, Ramon Abbas, popularly known as Hushpuppi.
KanyiDaily recalls that Mompha had claimed that someone from EFCC told him to maintain a low profile following the arrest of his Hushpuppi, who is being tried for money laundering in the United States.
The Instagram celebrity said after Hushpuppi’s arrest last year, he had deleted all pictures from his Instagram page but the EFCC “advised” him against doing such.
“Because I brought Hushpuppi from Malaysia, nothing wey my eye no see when they arrest am. The day he was arrested, I got lots of calls,” he had said in a mixture of Pidgin and English.
“Many accused me of causing what happened to him because of the pressure and different tags, I have to remove my pictures online but do you know who called me back? It was the EFCC that called me directly to post back my pictures it would look as if I am involved. ”
EFCC Denies Reaching Out To Mompha
But in a statement on Monday by its spokesman, Wilson Uwujaren, the EFCC denied the Instagram celebrity’s claim, saying the commission does not advise anyone suspected of crime.
“The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, wishes to dissociate itself from claims by Ismaila Mustapha, alias Mompha, currently circulating in the social media, that he was advised by the Commission to maintain a low profile in the wake of the indictment of his friend, Abbas Ramon alias Hushpuppi in a $1.1m international fraud conspiracy by US Law enforcement,” it read.
“The claim which did not mention the official of the commission who supposedly gave the advice is spurious and should be discountenanced.
“The commission is not in the business of advising suspected internet fraudsters and it is far-fetched that it would counsel one against whom it has pending criminal charge in court.”
Mompha Still Facing Charges Of Fraud In Lagos
The EFCC said Mompha and his company are still facing a 22-count charge the anti-graft agency filed against him.
“Mompha and his company, Ismalob Global Investment Limited are facing prosecution by the EFCC on a 22-count charge alleging various offences such as retention of proceeds of unlawful activities to wit; fraud,” it added.
“…failure to report transaction to the Commission as required by the provision of the Money Laundering Prohibition Act, 2011 (as amended), negotiating foreign exchange without license, contrary to Section 5 and 29 of the Foreign Exchange Monitoring and Miscellaneous (Provisions) Act, 2004;
“…engaging in foreign exchange transaction other than through the official foreign exchange market, contrary to provision of Section 11(1) (a) of the National Economic Intelligence Establishment Act to the tune of N32billion before Justice A. M. Liman of the Federal High Court sitting in Ikoyi, Lagos.
“The Commission had called 10 witnesses and closed its case. But rather than enter his defense, Mompha filed a no-case submission which was overruled by the Court and called upon to open his defense.”
KanyiDaily recalls that Mompha had filed a N5m lawsuit against the EFCC for arresting and detaining him beyond the constitutionally-allowed period without being charged to court.