Court Threatens Arrest Of Tompolo As Kinsmen Prod Efcc To Probe Ex-militant Commander
BEVERLY HILLS, January 13, (THEWILL) – A Federal High Court in Lagos has threatened to order the arrest of repentant Niger-Delta warlord, High Chief Government Ekpemupolo, popularly known as Tompolo, if he does not show up before the court on Thursday.
A court document dated January 12 warned the ex-militant commander to turn himself in or be compelled to do so. The summons is in connection with allegations of fraudulent land contracts for the construction of Nigerian Maritime University.
Same day it was issued, leaders and people of Okerenkoko, Gbaramatu Kingdom, in Warri South-West LGA of Delta State backed moves by the Economic and Finance Crimes Commission, EFCC, to probe Tompolo over an alleged N13bn paid by the Federal Government for the acquisition of the Maritime University land in the community.
The ex-militant leader's kinsmen, who spoke in Warri through Chief Michael Johnny, said now that Tompolo had admitted that the alleged N13bn was approved by the Federal Executive Council, FEC, Bureau of Public Procurement, BPP, Federal Ministry of Lands and Survey, Federal Ministry of Transport, NIMASA, the EFCC should ask Tompolo why Okerenkoko was paid only N360m for the land he got from them.
They said Tompolo was not above the law and he should tell Nigerians the whereabouts of the balance of over N12billion, urging the EFCC to invite Tompolo and also the immediate former ministers of the aforementioned ministries and agency to explain their respective roles in the transaction.
Meanwhile, the court document reads, “An order issuing a summons to compel the appearance of GOVERNMENT EKPEMUPOLO (A.K.A. TOMPOLO) before this honuorable court having being alleged to have committed the offences as contained in the body of the charge.
“An order of this honourable court granting leave to serve the summons and Charge NO: FHC/L/553C/2015 on the defendant.
“An order granting leave to the applicant to serve the summons and charge No: FHC/L/553C/2015 on GOVERNMENT EKPEMUPOLO (A.K.A. TOMPOLO) by substituted means to wit: By affixing same on the conspicuous part of his known address situated at No. 1 Chief Agbanu DDPA Extention Warri Delta State.
“And for such further order and other orders as the Honourable Court may deem fit to make in the circumstances. That the case is adjourned to 14/1/2016.”
The former commander of the Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta, MEND, had earlier refused to honour an invitation of the EFCC over the issue, prompting the anti-graft agency to consider declaring him wanted. He reacted to this by accusing the commission of witch-hunt, claiming that the federal government was after him for refusing to join the All Progressives Congress, APC.