Tompolo’s 46th Birthday Lecture And The Drama Involved

Nothing entertain as much as unexpected drama, which was what accord at the 46th birthday anniversary lecture in honour of ex-militant leader Chief Government Ekpemupolo popularly known as Tompolo. The event which had left people anticipating, especially with the Shirts and words of admiration by his loyalists was unfortunately disrupted following the factional crisis rocking the Ijaw Youth Council, IYC.

The event, at Okuemi Hotels, Warri, Warri South Local Government Area, Delta State, had gone half way, when some youths broke into the crowded hotel hall, shouting that armed youths were shooting and approaching the event venue. The seated guests were still trying to fathom who could the shooting in an event to honour Tompolo when the irate youths broke into the hall, fighting each other with dangerous weapons, including broken bottles and machetes.

Reports gathered that the fracas which unsettled the guests, who started leaving in droves, was as a result of an attempt by the unwelcome IYC faction opposed to the recently elected Eric Omare-led leadership to force their way into the event. The ensued commotion degenerated to sporadic shooting around the event centre with returned fire from mobile policemen on guard, who needed reinforcement before dispersing the violent elements at the scene, but not before some journalists lost their personal effects in the melee.

Omare, special guest on the occasion, when contacted, said, “I don’t have details of what transpired minutes ago, but if they (the invaders) happened to be IYC members, I apologise for that, but I need to confirm if indeed they were IYC members. “If factional IYC members tried coming in to disrupt an event to honour Tompolo, it is condemnable because they ought to know that Tompolo represents peace and they ought to conduct themselves in orderly manner.”

Wanted Niger Delta Militant Tompolo To Mark 46th Birthday In Grand Style

Tompolo’s 46th birthday might be celebrated in grand style by his loyalist who recently unveiled a shirt for the celebration.  Tompolo is wanted by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) for alleged conspiracy and illegal diversion of N45.9 billion belonging to the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA).

On Friday, the wanted militant’s loyalists, led by Godspower Gbenekama, the Ibe-Benemowei of Gbaramatu Kingdom, unveiled the official T-shirt for the event billed to start on 12 April with an inaugural lecture. The lecture,  which has the theme “The Niger Delta Question” is expected to have in attendance Chief Edwin Clark, the Ijaw leader, as the father of the day.

Mr. Ifeanyi Okowa, governor of Delta State and his deputy, Mr. Kingsley Otuaro, are expected to be special guests of honor.  Professor Tosan Harriman of the Centre for the Advancement of Democratic and People’s Rights, Bayero University, Kano is expected to be the guest speaker. The event is also expected to attract other dignitaries, especially from the South-South region.

While unveiling the branded T-Shirt for the celebrations, Mr. Gbenekama described Tompolo as a man focused and dedicated to the service of his people and that he should be celebrated even in his absence.

Tompolo Writes Buhari, Points Fingers At Oil Firms Over Pipeline Attacks

A former Niger Delta militant leader, Chief Government Ekpemupolo (aka Tompolo), has urged security agencies to investigate activities of oil companies in Niger Delta for the spate of attacks on pipelines and oil facilities in the region.

Reacting to insinuations that he was behind the Niger Delta Avengers, a group which claimed responsibility for the attacks on key oil facilities, including the Forcados Crude Export line in Burutu, Delta State, Tompolo said oil servicing companies angling for the repair contracts, and not him, were responsible for the attacks.

In a letter to President Muhammadu Buhari, Tompolo assured that oil multinationals and their service firms had nothing to worry about him because he was reformed.

He said: “I wish to appeal to the servicing companies to go about their normal operations, particularly the repair of the Forcados 48-inch pipeline, which is key to our economic stability.”

“I have said I will not resort to violence because of my case with the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) or to wage war against the Federal Government, as my legal team is working towards the resolution of the issue. I pray God should see me through these trying times.

“It is unfortunate that I am accused of pipeline vandalism, despite my statements to deny involvement in the renewed hostilities in Niger Delta. Since the declaration of the Presidential Amnesty Programme (PAP) by the late President Umaru Musa Yar’Adua in 2009, which I wholeheartedly embraced and accepted, I had sworn not to be part of any arms struggle, either overtly or covertly.

“Most Nigerians are aware of the role I played in safeguarding and protecting crude oil and gas facilities during the last administration; I am still interested in doing so for the love of country, humanity and out of patriotism. It is worthy of mention that as I was protecting oil facilities, I incurred the wrath of pipeline vandals and illegal refinery operators; till now some of them are still angry with me.

“Therefore, it is worrisome for security agencies to link me with such people who are still angry with me. It would be recalled that when I founded the defunct Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta (MEND) at the peak of the Niger Delta agitation for a better living for the people, I did not mince words. So, if it was me that is behind the Niger Delta Avengers, I would have come out openly to claim the leadership.

“I am a man of my word. Therefore, I should be taken as such by security agencies. It is unfair to link me with this new militant group, which I do not agree with, in terms of its philosophy, ideology and mode of operation. I am not a part of the Niger Delta Avengers.

“Let it be known that I am proud of my achievements through non-violence advocacy since the enthronement of the 2009 Presidential Amnesty Programme for the Niger Delta region, particularly in the coastal areas. For instance, the establishment of the first maritime university and a dock/ship building yard and other good things.

“I make bold to say that I have attracted more development to the Niger Delta region than my traducers. Therefore, it is unreasonable and unimaginable to associate me with any person(s) or group involved in pipeline vandalism and other criminal activities in Niger Delta.”

Tompolo urged President Muhammadu Buhari and the Federal Government to look inward in the search for masterminds of recent attacks.

According to him, his party men in Bayelsa State were getting agitated over lack of political patronage.

He said: “I am aware of how such persons are chasing the Minister of Petroleum for State, Dr Ibe Kachikwu, around. I advise the Federal Government to investigate some of the servicing companies engaged in repairing damaged pipelines; sabotage on their part is not ruled out. Some of them may not have the capacity to carry out such repairs, but must have worked their way to get the contract in connivance with people in the corridor of powers, and turn around to tender the security situation in the Niger Delta as an excuse, as they are being paid ‘down time’ payment.”

EFCC Arraigns Tompolo In Absentia

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, yesterday, arraigned in absentia, former Niger Delta militant leader, Government Ekpemupolo (alias Tompolo) before a Federal High Court sitting in Lagos.

This came as a prosecution witness in ongoing trial of Patrick Akpobolokemi, former Director General of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency, NIMASA, Orji Aosihiuwu, an operative of EFCC, narrated to a Federal High Court sitting in Lagos, how N1 billion allegedly looted from the agency was shared.

Tompolo was arraigned alongside six brothers of a former Director-General of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency, NIMASA, Patrick Akpobolokemi.

They are: Igo Akpobolokemi, Julius Akpobolokemi, Victor Akpobolokemi, Norbert Akpobolokemi, Emmanuel Akpobolokemi and Clement Akpobolokemi.

They were arraigned on a 22-count charge bordering on N47 billion fraud.

They were however, declared as being “now at large” when the charges were read.

Meanwhile, Akpobolokemi was also arraigned alongside three others, Josephine Otuaga, Rita Uruakpa and Kime Engozu.

The charges bordered on conspiracy, advanced fee fraud and money laundering.

All accused persons pleaded not guilty to the charges.

The judge, Justice Ibrahim Buba, however, admitted the accused persons to bail.

The judge allowed Akpobolokemi, who had earlier been arraigned before him, to continue with a N50 million bail earlier granted him on March 22.

In the charge, the EFCC alleged that the accused persons conspired to defraud the Federal Government between December 2, 2014 and April 10, 2015.

The prosecution alleged that the accused falsely declared that a parcel of land and its appurtenances situated at Mieka Dive Training Institute in Warri, had been acquired by NIMASA.

The land was said to be for construction of the temporary campus of the Nigerian Maritime University, Okerenkoko, the declarations of which were said to be false.

The EFCC also alleged that sometime in 2014, the accused fraudulently converted the sum of N13 billion belonging to NIMASA for private use.

Meanwhile, a prosecution witness in ongoing trial of Patrick Akpobolokemi, former Director General of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency, NIMASA, Orji Aosihiuwu, an operative of the Economic and Financial Crime Commission, EFCC, yesterday, narrated to a Federal High Court sitting in Lagos, how N1bilion allegedly looted from the agency was shared.

The witness, who is in the Special Taskforce Unit, STU of EFCC, identified all the defendants and gave account of the role played by each defendant in the N2. 6 billion scam.

The case is before Justice Ibrahim Buba. The accused persons are standing trial for allegedly converting N2.6 billion between December 23, 2013 and May 28 last year, to which they pleaded not guilty.

The witness said on October 2, 2013, Akpobolokemi wrote letter to the then President Goodluck Jonathan through the National Security Adviser, Col. Sambo Dasuki (retd), to release the sum of N1,123bn for the implementation of International Ships and Port facility Security, ISPS, project.

And on November 4, 2013, the money was released by the Federal Government for the project, it was transferred to NIMASA and it was later transferred to account of ISPS committee opened at Access Bank and the signatories to that account was Agaba who took orders from Akpobolokemi.

The witness said that out of N1.123 bilion released for the project, N1b was converted by the accused and their accomplices to their personal use.

He said the fund was shared among six companies; Seabulk Offshore Operator Ltd- N437.7m, Ace Prothesis Ltd-N66.8milion, Extreme Vertex Nig Ltd- N21.8m, O2 Services Plus Ltd- N14.2m, Southern Offshore Ltd- N402.4m, Caniz Ltd-N12.2 million.

While the sum of N 45million was withdrawn from the ISPS account by the accused.

Further hearing in the matter has been adjourned till April 29

Tompolo Charges FG To Court Over Charges

Former Niger-Delta Militant, Chief Government Ekpemupolo, better known as Tompolo has approached the Federal High Court in Lagos seeking an order restraining the Federal Government and its agencies from further proceeding with the N45.9bn fraud charges filed against him.

Tompolo, through his lawyer, Mr. Ebun-Olu Adegboruwa, is contending that sections 221 and 306 of the Administration of Criminal Justice Act, ACJA 2015, which prohibits him from seeking a stay of proceedings in his trial, are infringing on his constitutional rights to fair hearing.

The defendants in the suit are the Federal Government of Nigeria, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, the Inspector-General of Police, IGP, the Chief of Army Staff, COAS, the Chief of Naval Staff, CNS and the Chief of Air Staff, CAS.

He is praying the court to nullify sections 221 and 306 of the ACJA and restrain the Federal Government, the EFCC and the IGP from deploying those sections of the law against him.

Adegboruwa argued that sections 221 and 306 are in conflict with Section 36 of the Constitution which guarantees the right to fair hearing of his client.

Tompolo “Still Preparing” To Appear In Court

Embattled former leader of the defunct Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta (MEND), Chief Government Ekpemupolo, alias Tompolo, has restated his assurance that he would eventually appear in court over the EFCC charges, for which he has been declared wanted by the law court.

He said he was only awaiting the nudge of his legal counsel presently working on the matter before making himself available.

The fugitive accused former secretary of the Nigerian Union Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers (NUPENG) Chief Frank Ovie Kokori of seeking political relevance by meddling in his (Tompolo’s) affairs.

Speaking through his Media Adviser and Consultant, Paul Bebenimibo, in an e-mailed statement on Sunday, Ekpemupolo claimed that Kokori and other All Progressives Congress (APC) leaders in Delta State were taking advantage of his present ordeal with the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) to get cheap publicity because they wanted political appointments.

In the statement in response to a call by Kokori for the former MEND leader to come out of hiding to face charges from the EFCC, Bebenimibo described the action of the former labour leader as meddlesome and political relevance-seeking.

Reacting to an article in a national daily at the weekend, titled “Tompolo should go and face EFCC Eyeball to eyeball, by Frank Ovie Kokori”, Tompolo’s aide said that “Frank Ovie Kokori and cohorts should mind their business.”

He alleged that certain Delta APC leaders and their business associates had been sabotaging the national economy by sponsoring attacks on pipelines and other oil facilities in the Niger-Delta and blaming such on Tompolo in an attempt to attract attention of President Muhammadu Buhari.

Tompolo Boys Defies Buhari, Vows To Set Nigeria Ablaze

Written By Obinna Akukwe
Information from reliable sources craving anonymity, whose tips are always credible , have indicated that Warri High Chief General Ekpemupolo aka General Tompolo may order his boys to blow up more pipelines and plunge the nation into oil crisis if soldiers who have invaded Gbaramutu Kingdom in search of him, and ransacking the whole creeks, is not withdrawn.
The High Court sitting in Lagos had earlier in January sought for the arrest of the charges of corruption in excess of N30 Billion naira. Tompolo, fearing humiliating arrest and detention, had through his lawyer, defied the court directives and failed to answer to Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, (EFCC) investigations. The same court has listed his properties for auction if he fails to surrender.
I alluded in an earlier piece  titled ‘War in the Creeks as Buhari, Tompolo Alliance Crumbles’ that “Tompolo had boasted to groups of people two months before the renewed Biafra protests of November 2015, why he cannot support Kanu when a big masquerade called Buhari had already begged him to pipe low. At that time Kanu was still posting his hate messages from London, Therefore, before that Biafran struggle too off, many ingredients were already compromised, including Tompolo factor”. I also explained in the piece that “militant leader Government Ekpemupolo aka Tompolo took his luck too far. Tompolo equated his alliance with Buhari to mean that he has the license from the Muslim North to do as he likes. Tompolo started harassing every political opponent who fails to worship Him, his views and his God. He arrogated to himself the status of a Niger Delta Godfather, and this did not go down well with some sources within the ruling party”.
This alliance crumbled because Tompolo failed to remove his hand from the Bayelsa Gubernatorial elections, and bent on supporting Dickson. The duo of ex-governor Rotimi Amechi and Timipre Sylva decided that the Tompolo factor in Niger Delta politics will have to end. EFCC which had opened a case file onhim since August last year, suddenly renewed efforts to capture him, especially after the ruling APC lost the Bayelsa elections.  Human rights lawyer, Festus Keyamo, sworn enemy of Tompolo, who is also EFCC counsel, is laughing last.
The blown pipelines in Warri and Port Harcourt were largely attributed to him, though he has vehemently denied. Information at my modest disposal shows that he knows something about the blown pipelines. His boys did the job, but probably out of overzealousness, not on instructions from him.
The issue of Tompolo has divided Niger Delta Militants.  Ramsey Mukoro, a prominent militant leader warning on Tompolo issue described it as witch-hunt. According to Mukoro” none of us is happy with what is happening to Tompolo and other Ijaw people who served under Jonathan, it is a tribal witch-hunt” Iwere Peace Movement, a group advocating for Ijaw Nation and through Mr. Merie Oritsejolomi and Johnbull Deghele Omadeli warned against the Tompolo crisis. According to the group “We see the EFCC charges against Tompolo as a plot to arrest him and keep him in detention like the leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra, IPOB, Mr Nnamdi Kanu and the former National Security Adviser,NSA, Sambo Dasuki and murder him in detention”.

 Another Niger Delta warlord, Mr Africanus Ukparasia also known as General Africa has dismissed the Tompolo threat and given government the assurances that there is nothing can do to destabilize the region, He even offered  to help the security agencies dismantle the Tompolo factor. General Africa is still relevant in Niger Delta struggle.
Tompolo have been hiding in the creeks, though he has been sighted at Asaba Government House recently, and sighted in few places in Warri and Sapele, the military have not been able to capture him.
Tompolo knows what will happen if they catch him. He will most probably be handcuffed, dumped into underground cells, forced to make confessional statements and paraded like a criminal in the courts. The case of Olisa Metuh, Nnamdi Kanu, Raymond Dokpesi and Sambo Dasuki is an indication that Tompolo will be finished off.
From his hiding place Tompolo had issued fresh warning to Buhari few days ago. According to the outbursts from the warlord “You can’t send soldiers to destroy a community, arrest young men and rape women in the name of searching for Tompolo. If they claim that everybody in the Ijaw land is a criminal, does it also mean that everybody in the north is a member of Boko Haram?”
The dilemma is that if Tompolo surrenders, humiliation untold will accompany him. Ibori may be better than him. If Tompolo fights back, the nation will burn but Gbaramutu Kingdom will be another case of human rights violations in the hands of security agencies. If Tompolo capitulates, the Niger Delta struggle will be buried because this man has enough influence to marshal out formidable forces more than the rest of the groups.
Tompolo have vowed to fight back. From what I gathered, has put his people on red alert in such a manner that if anything untoward happens to him, hell will be let loose on oil installations in such a manner that soldiers will be taken by surprise. To the best of my knowledge, he is ready to wreck more havoc, and is not ready to be humiliated like Nnamdi Kanu.
What options do Tompolo or correctly put what options do the Niger Deltans have because the embattled militant is a major factor in the Niger Delta struggle. Any humiliation of Tompolo is the humiliation of Niger Delta.  It will bring joy and confidence to the bruised ego of Joint Military Patrols and Task Force, whose jobs of policing the creeks were re-assigned to the militant. Soon it will be the turn of Asari Dokubo, and other warlords   until all Niger Delta militants are on the run, and the zone becomes another conquered territory.
What will the Niger Deltans do to avoid this Tompolo- Buhari war of the creeks and steer the nation out of this conflict. I will discuss it sometime n the future, but before then I advise the Tompolo boys who have sworn to defy Buhari and his soldiers, blow up oil facilities and set Nigeria ablaze to suspend their plans and allow the elders work out a settlement.
Obinna Akukwe via [email protected], @ObinnaAkukwe,

Revealed: Delta State Government Hiding Tompolo

As the EFCC seeks permission to consolidate moves to smoke out Chief Oweizide Government Ekpemupolo aka Tompolo by confiscating his properties, can disclose that the former militant leader is currently being harbored by the Delta State government.

Tompolo, who has two arrest warrants on his head and was declared wanted by the EFCC, was sighted in the home of Delta State Deputy Governor, Kingsley Otuaro in Asaba, on Wednesday 17th February. He is still believed to be holed in there.

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) wants Tompolo arraigned on a 49-count charge including the diversion of N45.9 billion.

The EFCC has filed 49 charges against Tompolo that includes conspiracy and diversion of funds belonging to NIMASA but the ex-militant leader has failed to make himself available as ordered by the court.

Also, the EFCC, Thursday, sought an order to seize properties belonging to the embattled ex-militant at No. 1 Chief Agbamu Close DDPA Extension Warri (Effurun), Delta State.

The properties the EFCC intends to seize include:

(i) All properties of Mieka Dive Ltd and Mieka Dive Training Institute Ltd situated at No. 77, Lioth Street, ODPA Ugborikoko, Uvwie Local Government Area, Delta State.

(ii) All properties of Global West Vessel Specialist Ltd.

(iii) All properties of Muhaabix Global Services Ltd.

(iv)  A River Crew Change Boat named MUHA – 15

(v) The property known as “Tompolo Dockyard”, by the end of Enerhen Road, Effurun, Warri.

(vi)The property known as “Tompolo Yard”, at the end of Chevron Clinic Road, next to Next Oil, Edjeba, Warri.

(vii) The Diving School at Kurutie, at Escravos River.

(viii) The property known as “Tompolo House” at Oporaza Town, opposite the Palace.

(ix) Any other property discovered by the Economic And Financial Crimes Commission, moveable and immoveable, belonging to the 1st Accused person.

Since he was declared wanted, security agents had traced the ex-militant who hails from Okerenkoko, Gbaramutu Kingdom in the Warri South-West Local Government Area of Delta State, to his last known address at No. 1, Chief Agbanu Street, DDPA Extension, Warri, Delta State, but he was nowhere to be found.

However, sources close to Kingsley Otuaro claim that Tompolo is hiding in his house.

They assert that Tompolo also rides with the deputy governor’s convoy to avoid being detected by security operatives who are on the look-out for him. Recall that the police has promised to arrest Tompolo on sight since the EFCC declared him a wanted man and since the court placed an arrest warrant on him.

The Deputy Governor’s motorcade conceals Tompolo, because security agents do not stop the convoy for procedural frisking, reveals Huhuonline.

It is believed that Otuaro is protecting Tompolo as pay back for handpicking him for his current position. Tompolo singlehandedly picked Otuaro as running mate to current Delta governor Ifeanyi Okowa.

Otuaro and Tompolo are both Ijaws as well.

Bar. Otuaro was instrumental in sealing a 10-year-deal between Global West Vessel Specialist Limited (GWVSL) and the Nigerian Maritime and Security Agency (NIMASA). The deal was said to be worth $103.4 million (N39.64billion).

EFCC Seeks Court Order To Seize All Tompolo’s Properties

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, has gone to the Federal High Court, Lagos to seek an order to seize the properties of Government Ekpemupolo, alias Tompolo, until he appears in court.

The motion of ex parte brought before the court by EFCC’s counsel, Festus Keyamo, is under Section 80 and 81 of the Administration of Criminal Justice Act, 2015 and under the inherent jurisdiction of the court.

The case, with the file number: FHC/L/553/2015, was filed Thursday at the Federal High Court.

In the case between the Federal Government of Nigeria (Complainant) and the Government Ekpemupolo, alias Tompolo (Ist Defendant), the EFCC is seeking an order of the court pursuant to Section 80 and 81 of the Administration and Criminal Justice Act, 2015 authorizing the commission to attach the properties belonging to Tompolo.

The properties are: Property at No. 1, Chief Agbamu Close, DDPA Extension Warri (Effurun), Delta State; All properties of Mieka Dive Ltd and Mieka Dive Training Institute Ltd situated at No. 77, Lioth Street, ODPA Ugborikoko, Uvwie Local Government Area, Delta State; all properties of Global West Vessel Specialist Ltd; all properties of Muhaabix Global Services Ltd; A River Crew Change Boat named MUHA – 15 and the property known as “Tompolo Dockyard”, by the end of Enerhen Road, Effurun, Warri.

Others are the property known as “Tompolo Yard”, at the end of Chevron Clinic Road, next to Next Oil, Edjeba, Warri; the Diving School at Kurutie, at Escravos River; the property known as “Tompolo House” at Oporaza Town, opposite the Palace and any other property discovered by the Economic And Financial Crimes Commission, moveable and immoveable, belonging to the 1st Accused person (Tompolo) and such further order or ordrs as the Court may deem fit to make in the circumstances of this case.

PM News

EFCC Declares Tompolo Wanted

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission on Thursday declared a former Niger Delta militant leader, Government Ekpemupolo, alias Tompolo, wanted.

The anti-graft agency in an advertorial signed by its Head of Media and Publicity, Wilson Uwujaren, said it declared Tompolo wanted following two bench warrants issued against him by a Federal High Court in Lagos, where he has been charged with N45.9bn fraud.

In the said advertorial which carried a photograph of Tompolo, the EFCC described him as a 47-year-old, dark-complexioned man from Okerenkoko, Gbaramotu Kingdom in the Warri South-WestLocal Government Area of Delta State.

The wanted Tompolo, whose address was given as No. 1, Chief Agbanu Street, DDPA Extension, Warri, Delta State, is said to speak both Izon and English languages.

The public announcement issued by Uwujaren read in part, “The general public is hereby notified that Government Ekpemupolo (a.k.a. Tompolo), whose photograph appears above, is wanted by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission in relation to the offence of conspiracy, illegal diversion of the sum of N34,000,000,000.00 and N11,900,000,000.00 belonging to the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency.”

Justice Ibrahim Buba of a Federal High Court in Lagos issued a bench warrant against Tompolo on January 14 after he shunned a summons dated January 12 issued on him by the judge to appear in connection with the fraud charges filed against him and nine others by the EFCC.
Justice Buba had then ordered the law enforcement agencies to produce Tompolo before him on February 8 for him to answer the charges, but rather than appear in court on January 8, Tompolo brought an application seeking to quash the bench warrant and arrest order.

The judge, who dismissed the application for lacking in merit, renewed the arrest warrant and directed all law enforcement agencies to produce Tompolo before him on February 19.

Tompolo’s lawyer, Mr. Tayo Oyetibo (SAN), after failing to get the bench warrant vacated, turned down the responsibility of undertaking to produce his client in court.

Oyetibo said it was the responsibility of the prosecution to produce the suspect in court.
The EFCC filed 40 counts against Tompolo and nine others, including the immediate-past Director-General of NIMSA, Patrick Akpobolokemi.
The other suspects in the charge are Kime Engozu, Rex Elem, Gregory Mbonu and Capt. Warredi Enisuoh.

The suspects were charged along with four companies, namely: Global West Vessel Specialist Limited, Odimiri Electrical Limited, Boloboere Property and Estate Limited and Destre Consult Limited.

The suspects were accused of diverting and converting to their personal use a sum of N34bn and N11.9bn belonging to NIMASA.

The offence, according to EFCC, is contrary to Section 18 (a) of theMoney Laundering (Prohibition) (Amendment) Act, 2012 and were liable to punishment under Section 15 (3) of the same Act.


Court Dismisses Tompolo’s Application, Renews Arrest Warrant

A Federal High Court in Lagos, Monday, dismissed an objection by Government Ekpemupolo (also known as Tompolo) to his arrest brought and renewed a warrant order it had earlier issued on the former militant leader.

Judge Ibrahim Buba said the application by Mr. Ekpemupolo’s lawyer, Tayo Oyetibo, urging the court to set aside an order of substituted service was “misconceived, misplaced, and misapplicable.”

“Up till today the first defendant has refused to honour the invitation of the court to appear before it,” the judge said.
“The whole essence of service is to make the person aware of charges facing him.‎ By bringing an application before the court, the first defendant had become aware of the charge before the court.”

Mr. Buba adjourned till February 19th and ordered all the relevant security agencies to produce Mr. Ekpemupolo.
Mr. Ekpemupolo and Patrick Akpobolokemi, the former Director‎ General of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency, NIMASA, are accused of a multibillion naira fraud at the agency.

Others charged alongside the duo are Global West Vessel Specialist Ltd, Odimiri Electrical Ltd, Kime Engozu, Boloboere Property and Estate Limited, Rex Elem, Destre Consult Ltd, Gregory Mbonu, and Captain Warredi Enisuoh.
Festus Keyamo, counsel to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, said all the accused persons reported to the Commission’s office by 7 a.m. on Monday ahead of their court appearance, except Mr. Ekpemupolo.

The former militant leader had continued to ignore the court’s order for his appearance.

However, unlike previous court sittings, he sent a lawyer to represent him on Monday.

Mr. Oyetibo, a senior advocate of Nigeria, announced his intention to challenge the manner in which the prosecution effected the court’s order for substituted service on his client.

“On January 12, this court made a specific order for substituted service on the first defendant to be pasted on the gate of No.1 Agbamu street in Warri, Delta State,” said Mr. Oyetibo.

“In purported execution of that order, the prosecution deposed an affidavit of service on 14th January and exhibited a photograph of the premises to which the service was pasted.
“The building shown in the photograph is a completely different property.

“The question is whether the prosecution has carried out the order made by this court. If the answer is yes, then we can proceed with the hearing of this matter.”

The judge, however, made it clear he would not entertain any attempt to delay the trial, adding that the new Administration of Criminal Justice Act 2015 had ushered in “change.”

He dismissed Mr. Oyetibo’s application.

Mr. Keyamo had earlier told the judge that Mr. Ekpemupolo’s continued shunning of the court as well as EFCC’s invitations were an affront on the judiciary.

He also urged Mr. Oyetibo to sign an undertaking that he would produce his client at the next adjourned date, a request the latter flatly turned down.

“It is the duty of the prosecution to produce the defendant, not his counsel.”

Speaking to journalists after the court’s sitting, Mr. Keyamo said Mr. Ekpemupolo can no longer be issuing directives “from the comforts of his bedroom.”

“His lawyer refused to an undertaking to produce him in court, so everybody is avoiding Tompolo,” Mr. Keyamo said.

“So the security forces should make sure they produce him before the court, and that is the Chief of Army Staff, the Chief of Naval Staff, the Chief of Air Staff, the Inspector General of Police, the Director of State Security Services, the EFCC, and all other…. They should produce him before the court.

“This is the Federal Republic of Nigeria, no one person, I repeat, no one person is above the law. It’s not possible. They should produce him.”

Sahara Reporters