Social media celebrity, Ismaila Mustapha, known as Mompha, has reacted to being declared wanted by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission as he accused the agency of blackmail and intimidation.
The PUNCH had reported on June 30 2022 that Mompha’s absence stalled his alleged N6 billion money laundering trial before Justice Mojisola Dada of the Ikeja Special Offences Court.
Then in a notice on Wednesday signed by its spokesperson, Wilson Uwajaren, the embattled social media celebrity was declared wanted for criminal offence.
Reacting to the notice in lengthy Instagram posts on Thursday, Mompha noted that EFCC, via its lawyer, Rotimi Oyedepo, used his absence to blackmail him.
In the statement titled, ‘Mompha Wanted By The EFCC’ – The Truth Story’, Mompha detailed the history of his arrest and arraignment by the EFCC.
Mompha said, “After my arrest and arraignment on the first case at the Federal High Court Lagos, on the 10th of December 2021, the court gave me judgment and ordered EFCC to release my wrist watches and other valuables in their custody to me for having been unlawfully seized.
“Being a bitter agency, the EFCC in dissatisfaction with the judgment of the court on the release of my wristwatches came up with other trumped up charges against me.
“On the 10th of January 2022, while I was at there office at Okotie Eboh to retrieve my wristwatches in compliance with the judgment of the court and immediately after collecting my wristwatches, they held me down at their office and charged me to court the following day on the frivolous charges.
“I was arraigned before a familiar judge to the EFCC and in effect,I was given a very difficult bail to meet as a result of which I ended up spending over two months in prison custody while making efforts to meet the difficult bail.
“After several attempts to meet the bail conditions failed, I successfully applied for the bail conditions to be reduced which eventually led to my release.
“Upon my release, I traveled outside Nigeria to check on the welfare and wellbeing of my family and returned to Nigeria shortly only for the EFCC Corrupt lawyer, Rotimi Oyedepo, rather than focus on the establishing his criminal case against me along with the EFCC operative Kaina Garba, chose to capitalize on the fact that I travelled to blackmail me into entering plea bargain with EFCC else he would inform the Judge I travelled and ensure my bail is revoked therefore making me have no choice than to dance to his tune.
“I initially refused but after so much blackmail and intimidation by Rotimi Oyedepo, I succumbed and was told to pay N142 million naira to EFCC as compensation and also sign for a one year imprisonment sentence which I was uncomfortable with and they thereafter reduced it to N40 million naira and one year imprisonment.
“When it became obvious to EFCC that I wasn’t going to sign the plea bargain and play to their game, they informed the Judge I travelled, without any concrete evidence and disregard.”
Speaking on being declared wanted, Mompha added, “Finally it was obvious entering the plea bargain with the EFCC, which they wanted to force me into at all cost, means I would be convicted for a crime I did not commit and therefore become an ex convict.
“And this is what EFCC set out to achieve with me to enable them generate more social media publicity hence the desperation in falsely declaring me wanted and misleading the public.
“I want the general public to know I am not wanted by the EFCC but rather the court issued bench warrant for my production in court on the next court sitting.
“I didn’t steal from anyone or involved in any money laundering. I still don’t know why EFCC are so jobless that they want to tarnish my image. last last na international court go settle this matter.”