Internet celebrity, Ismaila Mustapha (a.k.a Mompha) has regained his freedom from the correctional facility a few weeks after his arraignment before a Special Offences Court, sitting in Ikeja, Lagos.
He regained his freedom shortly after the court, presided over by Justice Mojisola Dada, upheld the variation of his bail application to N25million with two sureties in like sum from Two Hundred Million Naira (N200, 000, 000.00) only bail bond earlier granted by the same court when he was arraigned.
Upon his arrest on 10th January 2022 by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Ismaila was arraigned on an 8-count charge bordering on conspiracy and money laundering to the tune of over Six Billion Naira (N6,000,000,000.00) only along with his company, Ismalob Global Investment Limited.
Thereafter, the defendant was admitted to bail on 18th January 2022 in the sum of Two Hundred Million Naira (N200, 000,000.00) only with two sureties in like sum, one of the sureties, the court directed, must own property valued at One Hundred Million Naira (N100,000, 000.00) only within the jurisdiction of the court.
Ismaila, who has since been remanded in a correctional centre of his choice for failure to perfect his bail conditions, on Monday 28th March 2022 applied for a variation of his bail conditions through his counsel, Gboyega Oyewole (SAN).
Justice Dada, in considering Ismaila’s application said that the court is weary in granting the application even as the defence counsel urged the prosecution to see the possibility of some kind of variation, and noted that such is being hampered because of his detention.
The judge, however, varied the bail conditions by granting temporary relief to the defendant. She lowered the bond to N25million with two sureties in like sum. One of the sureties must have a landed property valued at Fifty Million Naira (N50, 000, 000. 00) only within the jurisdiction of the state and must be produced by his lawyer.
Consequently, counsel to the prosecution, Mr Rotimi Oyedepo, asked for a new date from the court and possible commencement of trial.
Meanwhile, counsel to the defendant informed the court that the defendant has submitted his international passport to the court registrar and subsequently, presented a letter to that effect.
But the judge sought the validity of the international passport and asked that a copy of it be printed from the database, which was complied with by the defence.
The matter has been adjourned to 6th April 2022 for the continuation of trial.