Internet celebrity Ismaila Mustapha, aka Mompha, Tuesday demanded N5million from the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) for ‘unlawful re-arrest and detention.
Mompha, on trial at the Federal High Court in Lagos for allegedly laundering N33billion, was re-arrested last Friday by the EFCC.
The anti-graft agency explained that although Mompha was granted N100million bail last November, he was wanted in connection with fresh cyber fraud allegations.
But in a suit filed by his counsel Mr. Gboyega Oyewole (SAN) Mompha challenged his fresh arrest and detention.
He claimed that the Commission acted “without any plausible reason and/or explanation”, during his visit to the EFCC’s Ikoyi office, to retrieve several items seized from him last October 19.
The items – five wristwatches, one Apple Air pod, one iPhone eight mobile phones and one pair of sunglasses, were ordered to be released to him by Justice Mohammed Liman on the grounds that the EFCC did not list them as exhibits in court.
Mompha is praying the court to declare that his re-arrest and detention by the EFCC was unjustifiable and unlawful.
He is equally urging the court to declare that the continued seizure of the items violated his right to own property under Section 44 of the constitution.
He further prayed the court to order the EFCC not only to free him but also to give him back the seized items and pay him N5m damages.
A litigation officer in the office of his lawyer, Kayode Adeboye, contended that Mompha’s arrest was baseless because he had been granted bail by the court and never absconded.
According to Adeboye, in line with the bail conditions, Mompha had been reporting at the EFCC office fortnightly without defaulting.
The court has yet to fix a date to hear the suit.