Justice Mohammed Liman of the Federal High Court in Lagos on Monday ordered that alleged Internet fraudster, Ismaila Mustapha popularly known as Mompha, be kept in the custody of the Nigerian Correctional Services.

Justice Liman ordered that Mompha be kept behind bars after he pleaded not guilty to a 14-count charge of laundering N33bn.

The court had also fixed November 29 for the hearing of the defendant’s bail application.

The anti-graft agency alleged in the charge signed by one of its counsel, Rotimi Oyedepo, that Mompha laundered the funds through a firm, Ismalob Global Investment Ltd, between 2015 and 2018.

Ismalob Global Investments is the second defendant in the charge.

The EFCC claimed that the funds, domiciled in Fidelity Bank, were moved in tranches of N18,059,353,413 and N14,946,773,393.00.

The commission further alleged that both defendants, not being a financial institution, or an authorised foreign exchange dealer, negotiated a foreign exchange transaction in the sum of N9.416m, N20m, N10,437,400.00, N10m, N2.46m, N10m, N100m, N61m, N100m, N40.7m and N42m.

The funds were domiciled in the defendants’ Fidelity Bank account.

The commission alleged that Mompha “between 2015 and 2018 procured Ismalob Global Investment Ltd to retain the aggregate sum of N18,059,353,413 in its account No. 5260000846 domiciled in Fidelity Bank Plc, which sum you reasonably ought to have known formed part of the proceeds of unlawful act to wit: fraud.

“Mompha, between 2015 and 2017, also allegedly aided the company to retain the aggregate sum of N 14,946,773,393.00 in its account No. 5260000846 domiciled in Fidelity Bank Plc from Pitacalize Ltd.

“Both actions offended Sections 18(3) and 15(2)(d) of the Money Laundering Prohibition Act.2011 as amended and punishable under section 15 (3) of the same Act,” the agency said.

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