Can the EFCC properly investigate Mompha this time?

EFCC Re-arrests Mompha

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has re-arrested internet personality, Ismaila Mustapha, also known as Mompha. The socialite who had earlier faced money laundering charges before the Federal High Court was re-arrested last Friday when he went to the EFCC office in Ikoyi, Lagos to reclaim his five wristwatches, one Apple Air pod, an iPhone 8 mobile phone and one pair of sunglasses, seized from him by the anti-graft agency.

Mompha was earlier arrested in 2019 by the EFCC for alleged money laundering. His arrest created a turmoil on social media as it open room for conversations on how some well-celebrated socialites acquire their wealth. For many, at that point, Mompha was just another victim of ‘you got the wrong guy‘ as there appeared to be many Nigerians who vigorously claim that he makes his money genuinely.

Following some investigation and a court ruling on the case against him, he was later freed with all allegations against him dropped.

Following Mompha’s release, the EFCC withheld some of the items they seized from him. While the court order went further to stipulate that the items be released to Mompha since they were not logged as exhibits in the money laundering charges against him, the EFCC deliberately held back his properties. This begs the question: Why did the anti-graft agency hold back in following the directives of the court? Was there something underlying in their investigation that needed to be promptly completed first before handing his properties to him?

Mompha’s arrest was last Friday, but the news only rocked the airwaves on Monday night. From our findings, we gathered that Mompha had barely left the premises of the EFCC office in Ikoyi upon collecting his properties on Friday when operatives of the anti-graft agency waylaid him and took him into custody.

The debate on this issue on social media: why wait for his visit before initiating an arrest? If Mompha was not in hiding, it becomes quite suspicious that the arrest happened on his visit to collect his properties, especially if he was not invited by the EFCC to collect them. On Twitter, many have argued the tactics of the EFCC, tying it to earlier reservations they shared on his initial arrest. For many, the EFCC has been targeting successful individuals” and has lost sight of the heavy corruption that exists in the government.

That said, Mompha’s lawyer Oyelowo revealed that the EFCC is only doing this because they have been looking for ways to amend the charges against Mompha. He also shared that he would be filling processes today (Tuesday). On the other hand, the EFCC shared that the charges against Mompha is a fresh arrest unconnected to the existing charges in court, related to internet fraud.

Now that Mompha has been arrested, it’s imperative that adequate investigation should be carried out on him to prove him guilty or innocent for the crimes he is being charged for, and not witch hunting Nigerians who are making ends meet and living their lives, albeit loud on social media.

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