An investigator with the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) , Idi Musa,  as narrated how the commission allegedly found N35bn in bank accounts linked to  Ismaila Mustapha, (a.k.a Mompha), who is facing trial on alleged money laundering.

Musa, a prosecution witness, told Justice Mojisola Dada of the Special Offences Court sitting in Ikeja, this on Monday.

As ‘The Punch’ reports, the Lagos Zonal Command of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, had, on January 12, 2022, arraigned Mompha alongside his company, Ismalob Global Investment Limited, on an eight-count charge bordering on conspiracy to launder funds obtained through unlawful activity, retention of proceeds of criminal conduct, laundering of funds obtained through unlawful activity, failure to disclose assets and property, possession of documents containing false pretences and use of property derived from unlawful act.

At Monday’s proceedings, Musa, an investigator with the EFCC, while being led in evidence by the prosecution counsel, S. I. Suleiman, narrated how he knew the first and second defendants in the course of investigations into the alleged criminal activities.

He told the court how the commission had received intelligence from the Federal Bureau of Investigations, informing it that the first and second defendants were into cybercrime in the United States of America, USA.

In his testimony, he said, “Sometime in 2019, we received intelligence from the FBI, USA. The letter was addressed to the commission, informing us that the first and second defendants were involved in cybercrime, otherwise known as Yahoo Yahoo.”

According to him, in the course of the investigation, some letters were written to two major banks requesting the account statements of the second defendant linked to the first defendant.

In his further testimony, he told the court that “The account statements were received and analysed.

“During the analysis, we discovered a heavy flow of N30bn through the account of the first defendant (Mompha) in one of the banks and about N5bn in another bank account.

“Letters were written to the FBI, and the Special Fraud Unit of the vommission, regarding the defendant’s claim that he was into Bureau De change business, in view of the volume of these transactions.

“A letter was also written to the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN and other relevant agencies.”

He also told the court that the investigation revealed that the first defendant did not reside in Nigeria and that efforts to reach him proved abortive.

The witness said, “A letter was written to the Nigeria Immigration Services, on October 16, 2019, to arrest the defendant anytime he was seen in the country.

“On October 18, 2019, the first defendant got information that the Commission was looking for him, while he was in Nigeria. So, he quickly got to the airport and boarded a flight in order to jet out of the country to evade arrest.

“The team got the information through the NIS officers at the airport. By then, Mompha had already boarded the flight. So, they had to call him to come down and he was immediately arrested. He was subsequently handed over to the EFCC by the immigration officers.”

When asked about the findings regarding the defendant’s bank account, Musa said over N30bn was discovered, adding that “he told us that he was into Bureau De Change business. But investigation showed that he was not.

“We have already concluded investigations in that regard. The offences border on money laundering, operating BDC without a licence before a Federal High Court in Ikoyi, Lagos.”

He also told the court that a report from the FBI’s forensic analysis revealed that Mompha’s iPhone was used to send account details to a United Arab Emirates telephone number, which he used to search for Swift Codes of a bank.

“Upon his arrest, all the properties recovered from him were registered with the Exhibits Section in the EFCC office.