By Lukman Olabiyi, Lagos
The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has named social media celebrity Ismail Mustapha, popularly known as Mompha, in a nine-count amended charge brought against Sarumi Samusideen Babafemi, the Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of 606 Autos Limited, 606 Music Limited and Splash Off Entertainment Limited.
Others mentioned in the new charge are Ridwan Momodu Allison, aka Osama, and Richard Ogbah, said to be at large,
In the charge marked FHC/L/CS/374c/2019, Sarumi, Mompha, Ridwan and Richard are alleged to have laundered the total sum of N157.1 million.
The beneficiaries of the said funds are Omojadesola Shittu Allison, Olandewaju Oriyomi, Abiola Kayode Ayorinde, Bartholomew Oluchukwu Ezeudoka and Amobi Uchenna E, who were said to have received the sums of N37.6 million, N93 million, N1.5 million and N25 million, respectively.
In the new charge, Sarumi and his companies were also accused of concealing and disguising the origins of the funds he allegedly laundered for Mompha and others.
The offences according to the EFCC are contrary to sections 15(2)(b) and 15(3)(a) and punishable under section 15(3) of the Money laundering (prohibition) Act 2011 (as amended).
Meanwhile, the scheduled re-arraignment and trial of Sarumi and his companies on the amended charge has been adjourned till April 21, 22 and 23.
The adjournment followed the late service of the amended charge on the defendants.
At the resumed trial of the defendants on Monday, the EFCC counsel, Ayanfe Ogunshina, told the court that the Commission has an amended charge against the defendants and that the court should allow the charge to be read to them for the purposes of taking their plea on the new charge.
Ogunshina also informed the court that he was ready to go on with the trial, as one of his five witnesses was in court to testify.
But the defendants’ counsel, Muiz Banire, SAN, opposed the prosecutor’s application, on the ground that the amended charge was served on them while in court.
Banire also told the court that in the event the court in inclined to take his clients’ plea he will need to study before the trial could proceed on the matter.
Ruling on the parties’ submissions and with the agreement of the parties, Justice Joseph Chukwujekwu Aneke, fixed the new date for arraignment.