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Court orders arrest of Tompolo

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Justice Ibrahim Buba of the Federal High Court, Lagos, has ordered the immediate arrest of a former Niger Delta militant, Government Ekpemupolo, popularly known as Tompolo.

The judge issued an arrest warrant for Tompolo after the counsel to the Economic and Financial Crime Commission (EFCC), Festius Keyamo filed an application for it due Tompolo’s failure to honour to invitations to appear before the court.

Tompolo and Director General of Nigeria Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), Patrick Akpobolokemi were to be arraigned on a 40 count charge of alleged money laundering, conspiracy, stealing and diversion of funds today. But only Akpobolokemi appeared before the court.

Aside Tompolo and Akpobolokemi, four other persons alongside four companies are also to be arraigned according to spokesman of the EFCC, Wilson Uwujaren.

The other accused persons are Kime Engozu, Rex Elem, Gregory Mbonu and Captain Warredi Enisuoh while the companies’ names were given as Global West Vessel Specialist Limited, Odimiri Electricals Limited, Boloboere Property and Estate Limited, Destre Consult Limited.

“The suspects allegedly diverted the sum of N34 billion which accrued from the public private partnership agreement between NIMASA and Global West Vessel Specialist Limited for personal use”, Uwujaren said, adding that the commission had secured an order of the Federal High Court to serve the summon and charge on Tompolo by substituted means as “the suspect has continuously evaded service”.

Justice Buba had ordered the EFCC to serve Tompolo through substituted means by affixing the summons and charge on a conspicuous part of his known address situated at No. 1 Chief Agbanu Street, DDPA Extension Warri, Delta State.

Keyamo told the court that the order for substituted service was carried out and that summons for Tompolo to appear before the court was pasted at his residence in Warri Delta state yesterday and photographs of it were taken.

It would be recalled that Tompolo last year failed to honour the invitation by EFCC twice despite the commission’s threat to declare him wanted. He was summoned for questioning over a N13 billion fraud allegation that relates to the land acquired for the establishment of Maritime University in Okerenkoko of Delta State. But he failed to honour the invitation; and the anti graft commission, did not declare him wanted as threatened. The said amount was allegedly paid to Tompolo by NIMASA under the tenure of Akpobolokemi.