The trial of a popular social media celebrity, Ismaila Mustapha, aka Mompha, over alleged N6bn money laundering was on Wednesday stalled due to the absence of his lawyer.

At the resumed hearing of the case before Justice Mojisola Dada of an Ikeja Special Offences Court, the defence counsel, Mr Gboyega Oyewole (SAN), was not in court.

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission prosecuting counsel, Mr Suleiman Suleiman, informed the court that the prosecution was in court with two witnesses as the court had fixed Wednesday for commencement of trial.

Suleiman, however, informed the court of the absence of the lead defence counsel.

“There is no representation for the defence and I tried reaching the junior counsel, who said the SAN ought to be here,” he said.

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The court had on September 21 ordered the commencement of the trial of the defendant in absentia after he failed to appear before the court.

The EFCC had on January 22 arraigned Mompha alongside his company, Ismalob Global Investment Limited, on eight counts of N6bn money laundering.

On June 22, the court issued a bench warrant for Mustapha’s arrest following his absence in court.

Dada also revoked the bail she granted the defendant.

The case was adjourned till December 16 for trial.

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