Court Admits FBI’s Report Claiming Mompha Used iPhone for Alleged N6bn Fraud

On Monday, the Lagos State Special Offences Court in Ikeja admitted as evidence two documents presented by the prosecution in the trial of social media celebrity Ismaila Mustapha nicknamed Mompha for alleged N6 billion fraud.

Mr. Ayotunde Solademi, a Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) agent, presented the report on behalf of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) at the case’s resumed hearing in Ikeja.

The records include an FBI investigation and an investigative report on Mompha’s iPhone, which the agency believes was used for fraudulent purposes.

Mr. Suleiman Suleiman, lawyer for the EFCC, brought the witness into the witness stand.

Mr. Kolawole Salami, the defense counsel who opposed to the inclusion of the two documents in evidence, claimed that they were public documents.

He said: “The documents are not certified true copies and should not be admitted in court.”

Justice Mojisola Dada, however, overruled him and upheld the submission of prosecution counsel who insisted that the FBI documents were original.

“The documents do not require certification,” Dada said.

Solademi, who works at the Legal Attaché Office of the FBI in Nigeria, had informed the court that he retrieved an iPhone belonging to Mompha with a Faraday bag.

He said that the FBI’s forensic operations revealed that the defendant’s iPhone was used to send account details to a United Arab Emirates (UAE) telephone number, searched for swift codes of a bank, and had a compromised Microsoft 365 account.

The witness further told the court that the FBI discovered during analysis that Mompha’s iPhone was also used to change payment delivery from cheque to wire transfer.

He said: “The iPhone had a compromised Microsoft 365 account, and attackers used a fraudulent domain to socially engineer communication to Mompha’s company.

“The iPhone was used to make three attempts to transfer funds. The first two failed, but the third was successful,” Solademi said.

Mompha’s trial started on June 3 when a compliance officer with Access Bank testified against him.

The prosecution informed the court on May 15 that it had secured the defendant’s arrest in collaboration with its international partners.

The EFCC had on January 22 arraigned Mompha alongside his company, Ismalob Global Investment Limited, on an eight-count charge of money laundering.

The court on June 22 issued a bench warrant for his arrest following his absence in court.