A witness presented by the Economic and Financial Crime Commission (EFCC) counsel Mr Rotimi Oyedepo before Justice Mohammad Liman of the federal high court ikoyi at the opening of trial for Mompha’s N32.9bn Fraud charges.
The first witness a CBN official Mrs Anne Ezekannagha told the court that the CBN had no record of licensing Ismalob Global Investment Limited as a Bureau de Change (BDC) operator.
She further explain that before a firm can be licensed as a BDC firm, such firm must show evidence of incorporation as a limited liability company by the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC), and that all licensed BDCs have a transaction limit of $5,000.
When asked by the defence counsel Oyewole, whether it was unlawful for an individual who has foreign currency in his domiciliary account to give foreign currency to a friend in exchange for naira, the CBN official said it would not be unlawful if it was not a commercial transaction.
The second witness, Peter Adegoke, told the judge that evidence showed that Mompha was the sole signatory to Ismalob Global’s naira account.
Reading from the firm’s statement of account, Adegoke told the court that between 2015 and October 2019, there was a total inflow of N18.5bn into the account, while a total of about N18bn moved out within the same period, leaving the account with a balance of N598,000.
The third witness a Benin based BDC operator Ikenna Okafor, told the court that he did business with Ismalob Global Investment Limited through “one of its directors, Alhaji Ahmadu Mohammed.”
Okafor said Mohammed used to come to his base in Benin, Edo State, to buy Euro in the name of Ismalob Global Investment Limited.
“After negotiation with Ismalob Global Investment Limited through Alhaji Mohammed, he usually made payment into my account through Ismalob,” Okafor said.
Under cross-examination by Oyewole, Okafor said he met Mompha for the first time three days ago at the EFCC office in Ikoyi.
Justice Liman adjourned further proceedings till January 8, 2020.
Mompha who is facing 14 counts of alleged fraud, money laundering and running a foreign exchange business without the authorisation of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) was later granted a bail in the sum of N100m with one surety who must be a landed property owner.
He was ordered to deposit his passport with the Chief Registrar of the court and report at the EFCC office every fortnight to show that he has not left the country.