The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has debunked a claim by Ismaila Mustapha, an Instagram celebrity popularly known as Mompha, that officials of the commission told him “to lay low” and be quiet after his arrest.
The EFCC made the rebuttal in a statement issued by Wilson Uwujaren, its Head of Media and Publicity, on Monday.
Mompha had while commenting on the arrest and indictment of Ramon Abbas, the infamous fraudster better known as Hushpuppi, in an interview with OAP Daddy Freeze claimed that the EFCC told him to remain under the radar after he was arrested and released on bail in 2020.
But reacting, the EFCC described the claim by Mompha as “spurious”, saying it does not advise suspects on actions to be taken.
The statement read: “The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, wishes to dissociate itself from claims by Ismaila Mustapha, alias Mompha, currently circulating in the social media, that he was advised by the Commission to maintain a low profile in the wake of the indictment of his friend, Abbas Ramon alias Hushpuppi in a $1.1m international fraud conspiracy by US Law enforcement.
“The claim which did not mention the official of the Commission who supposedly gave the advice, is spurious and should be discountenanced.
“The Commission is not in the business of advising suspected internet fraudsters and it is far-fetched that it would counsel one against whom it has pending criminal charge in court.
“Mompha and his company, Ismalob Global Investment Limited are facing prosecution by the EFCC on a 22-count charge alleging various offences such as retention of proceeds of unlawful activities to wit; fraud, failure to report transaction to the Commission as required by the provision of the Money Laundering Prohibition Act, 2011 (as amended), negotiating foreign exchange without license, contrary to Section 5 and 29 of the Foreign Exchange Monitoring and Miscellaneous (Provisions) Act, 2004; engaging in foreign exchange transaction other than through the official foreign exchange market, contrary to provision of Section 11(1) (a) of the National Economic Intelligence Establishment Act to the tune of N32billion before Justice A. M. Liman of the Federal High Court sitting in Ikoyi, Lagos.
“The Commission had called 10 witnesses and closed its case. But rather than enter his defense, Mompha filed a no-case submission which was overruled by the Court and called upon to open his defense.”