Internet Celebrity, Mompha, Sues EFCC, Demands N5m

Internet celebrity, Ismaila Mustapha, alias Mompha, has filed a fundamental rights enforcement suit against the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, alleging unlawful detention and a violation of his rights.

He was arrested by the EFCC in October on allegation of cybercrime and money laundering.

In the suit he filed before the Lagos State High Court in Igbosere, Mompha is urging the court to award N5m against the EFCC for detaining him beyond the constitutionally-allowed period without being charged to court.

He prayed the court to order the EFCC to either immediately charge him to court or release him if it was not ready to charge him to court.

His lawyer, Mr Gboyega Oyewole (SAN), said his client, as a Nigerian, was entitled to the protection of his fundamental rights under sections 34, 35 and 36 of the 1999 constitution.

Oyewole said his client was arrested on October 19 at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja by the EFCC which accused him of money laundering.

He said the remand order which the EFCC obtained to keep Mompha had since expired and he ought to be released.

In a 20-paragraph supporting affidavit, one Olumuyiwa Ajidagba claimed that “The applicant (Mompha) has been subjected to physical, mental and psychological torture in the underground cell of the EFCC’s detention centre.”

The court is yet to fix any date to hear the case.

The EFCC had said in October that it arrested the internet celebrity in Abuja on his way to Dubai, based on “actionable cross-border intelligence received from collaborative law enforcement agencies about his alleged involvement in the criminal activities.”

The anti-graft agency said, “Ismaila, who allegedly perpetrates his fraudulent activities under the guise of being a bureau de change operator, is always seen with his little son flaunting huge amount of foreign currencies on his social media platforms.

“Investigations have also revealed that Ismaila is only using the BDC business he jointly owned with his siblings as a decoy to launder his proceeds of crime.”

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