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Saturday, 20 February 2016

Court Grants EFCC Request To Seize Tompolo's Properties

Justice Ibrahim Buba of the Federal High Court, Lagos on Friday granted the request of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission to seize all properties of former Niger Delta militant, Government Ekpemupolo, popularly known as Tompolo, who has been declared wanted by the Commission following his refusal to heed court summons to answer to fraud charges. At the resuming hearing, prosecuting counsel, Festus Keyamo, informed the court of the warrant of arrest issued in respect of Tompolo.

Keyamo said despite the warrant of arrest and efforts of security agencies, the suspect has not been found. Keyamo then brought an ex-parte motion to authorise the EFCC to attach and seize property belonging to Government Ekpemupolo pending his arrest or appearance before the court. The properties are: No. 1 Chief Agbamu Close, DDPA Extension, Effurun, Delta State; Mieka Dive Limited and Mieka Dive Training Institute Limited situated at No. 77, Lioth Street, ODPA Ugborikoko, Uvwie Local Government Area, Delta State; Muhaabix Global Services Limited; a River Crew Change Boat named MUHA -15; the property known as “Tompolo Dockyard”, by the end of Enerhen Road, Effurun; 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 know as “Tompolo House” at Oporaza Town, opposite the Palace and any other moveable and immoveable property discovered by the EFCC, belonging to the 1st accused person. 

Keyamo asked the court to separate the charge so that the matter can proceed as the 1st accused person has remained elusive. Tompolo was billed to be arraigned by the EFCC alongside a former Director General of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency, Patrick Akpobolokemi, and eight others on a 40-count charge for alleged conspiracy and diversion of over N34 billion belonging to NIMASA.

While Akpobolokemi and others appeared in court, Tompolo failed to do so, forcing the court to issue a warrant for his arrest. Justice Buba granted the request of the prosecution to separate the charge and fixed March 22 for the arraignment of the nine other suspects. The court also granted the EFCC the power to auction all his properties after three months if he fail to appear before the court.

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