Mompha’s ally, Koudeih seeks psychiatric treatment in Lebanon - Alleged $7m, £1m fraud
Hamza Koudeih, being prosecuted alongside Kayode Phillips, both alleged accomplices of Ismaila Mustapha, popularly known as Mompha, is seeking permission to travel to Lebanon for psychiatric treatment.
The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), on Wednesday, urged Justice Ringim Tijjani, a vacation judge of the Federal High Court in Ikoyi, Lagos to dismiss the application.
Koudeih and others face fraud charges before Justice Muslim Hassan of the same court.
EFCC described the defendants as high-valued targets in Organized Cyber Syndicate Network (OCSN).
They were arraigned on November 28, 2019 on 25-count charges bordering on conspiracy and money laundering.
EFCC told the court that Phillips (aka Voice of the King) and Koudeih (aka HK), sometime in May, 2019, conspired to convert $7,069,000, £1,000,000 and €80,000 they ought to have known form part of fraud proceeds.
The offence is contrary to Sections 18 (a), 15 (2)(d) of the Money Laundering Prohibition Act, 2015 and punishable under Section 15(3) of the same Act.
The defendants pleaded “not guilty” to the charges and their trial began.
On July 18, 2021, Abdulhamid Mohammed, Koudeih’s counsel explained that his client needed to see his psychiatrist in Beirut, Lebanon.
The lawyer said the treatment he has been receiving in Nigeria had not yielded good results.
He added that Koudeih’s doctor in Lebanon, Dr. Georges Elie Karam, a Psychiatry and Clinical Psychologist at St. George Hospital University Medical Centre, Beirut, needed further medical investigation.
EFCC counsel, Rotimi Oyedepo opposed the application on grounds of flight risk, adding that it was a ploy to run away from the trial.
“Going by the exhibits annexed, how can a (Nigerian) doctor who has treated the applicant for 14 years now suddenly say that he can no longer be doing so?
“There are hospitals in Lagos that the applicant has been using. This defendant is a citizen of Lebanon. What if he is granted permission to go and he doesn’t return?,” he asked.
Justice Tijjani adjourned ruling on the application until September 9, 2021.
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