Judge orders arrest of ex-militant, Tompolo, over N34 bn fraud allegation

A Federal High Court in Lagos on Thursday ordered for the arrest of the ex- Niger-Delta militant leader, Mr Government Ekpemupolo, also popularly known as Tompolo.

Justice Ibrahim Buba ordered the arrest when the ex-militant leader failed to appear before the court in the case brought by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).
It would be recalled that the Judge had on Wednesday ordered Tompolo to appear before it to answer questions on the allegation of converting millions of dollars, naira and property belonging to the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency ( NIMASA) for his personal use.
The order was granted following a motion to that effect by the EFCC.
Apart from Tompolo, also affected by the order were the former NIMASA Director-General, Mr Patrick Ziakede Akpobolokemi, Global West Vessel Specialist Limited (owned by Tompolo), Odimixi Electricals Limited, Kime Engozu, Boloboere Property and Estate Limited, Rex Elem, Destre Consult Limited, Gregory Mbonu and Captain Warredi Enisuoh.
Details of the 40-count charge were alleged conversion of N601, 516.13 and $1, 766, 428.62, property of NIMASA, into private concerns; conversion of NIMASA’s N27,690,113.79 and $17, 491, 378.64, including N27, 690,113.79 and $17, 491, 378.64, owned by NIMASA for personal use.
The offence was described as against section 15 (1) of the Money Laundering (Prohibition) (Amendment) Act 2012 and punishable under section 15(3) of the same Act.
According to the EFCC, the re-arrest of Akpobolokemi after the release granted to him by the Court was because of the fresh N34bn fraud allegation.
However, other accused persons in the case were represented.
Festus Keyamo who is EFCC prosecutor told the court that the failure of Tompolo to appear in court was a clear disobedience to the court order, explaining that he had been fully served the summon.
Tompolo, Keyamo recalled had ignored EFCC’s invitation to make a statement on the allegation against him.
He called on the court to issue a warrant of his arrest for failing to obey the order of court.
However, Akpobolokemi’s Counsel, Dr Joseph Nwobike, SAN, who spoke on the issue told the court to consider giving Tompolo more time to come to Lagos since he was in served in Warri just Wednesday.

In his ruling, the judge ordered his arrest, arguing that this should be so since he had been issued with court summon.