N13bn Land Scam: Tompolo Gave Us Only N360m, Okerenko Leaders Cry Out, Back EFCC Probe
SAN FRANCISCO, December 13, (THEWILL) – Leaders of Okerenkoko community in Gbaramatu kingdom, Warri South-West local government area, Delta State, whose parcel of land was reportedly acquired for a whopping N13billion for the construction of the Maritime University by the Federal Government said on Sunday that only N360million was disbursed to them.
Last week, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) asked Chief Government Ekpemupolo a.k.a Tompolo , who brokered the deal and collected the money from the Federal Government to report to its Lagos office within a week.
But Tompolo said on Saturday that the people who approved the land deal and should answer questions over the deal are in the Federal Executive Council (FEC), Bureau of Public Procurement (BPP), Federal Ministry of Lands and Survey, Federal Ministry of Transport as well as the Nigerian Maritime and Safety Agency (NIMASA).
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He also alleged that the reason the All Progressives Congress (APC)-led Government is after him is because he refused to join APC and to support their Governorship candidate in Bayelsa State.
However, Okerenkoko community leaders, who spoke through Chief Micheal Johnny on Sunday, said that Tompolo would have to answer how the owners of the land (Okerenkoko) were paid only N360million since it is now clear that FEC approved N13billion for the land acquisition.
They said that now that Tompolo had admitted that the alleged N13billion was approved by the various agencies he listed, “the EFCC should ask Tompolo why Okerenkoko was paid only N360m for the land”.
Maintaining that they are in full support of the ongoing investigation by the EFCC on how the money was allegedly pocketed by some few individuals, the Okerenkoko leaders urged the EFCC to ensure that all those allegedly involved in the deal, including immediate past Ministers of the aforementioned ministries and agencies are properly interrogated to explain their respective roles in the controversial transaction.
Specifically, they urged Tompolo to tell Nigerians the whereabouts of the balance of over N12billion.
The community leaders who insisted that Tompolo is not above the law, urged the EFCC to go ahead to prosecute him and those involved in the alleged diversion of the funds, recover same and give it to the leadership of Okerenkoko for the reconstruction of the community, which was razed down years ago by Joint Task Force (JTF).
They however urged the Buhari-led Federal Government and the leadership of APC to ignore Tompolo's allegations and claims of being persecuted for refusal to join the APC, saying “he is only trying to play politics with the misappropriation of the alleged N13bn”.
According to them, proper investigation and eventual prosecution of all those involved in the scam would be a test case for the Buhari anti-corruption crusade and the acting Chairman of EFCC.