Ex-Niger Delta militant, Government Ekpemupolo, a.k.a. Tompolo, has shunned the order of a Federal High Court in Lagos to unconditionally appear today to answer a 40-count of alleged N13bn fraud levelled against him by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission.
The order, which was granted in Charge No: FHC/L/553c/2015, was sequel to a motion ex-parte brought by the EFCC.
Also affected by the order were ex-NIMASA Director-General, Mr. Patrick Ziakede Akpobolokemi, Tompolo’s company, Global West Vessel Specialist Limited, Odimixi Electricals Limited, Kime Engozu, Boloboere Property and Estate Limited, Rex Elem, Destre Consult Limited, Gregory Mbonu and Captain Warredi Enisuoh.
While all his co-accused, including a former Director-General of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency, Patrick Akpobolokemi, were present in court, only Tompolo failed to appear.
The 40-count charge include the 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, as well as another N27, 690,113.79 and $17, 491, 378.64, belonging to the agency to personal use, an offence contrary to section 15 (1) of the Money Laundering (Prohibition) (Amendment) Act 2012 and punishable under section 15(3) of the same Act.
The EFCC had explained that it rearrested ex-NIMASA DG, Akpobolokemi after he was granted bail by a competent court because of fresh N34 billion fraud allegations against him.
The commission had asked Tompolo to appear on December 17, 2015 for questioning in respect of the N13 billion land acquisition controversy for Nigerian Maritime University, NMU in Warri South-West Local Government Area, Delta State, with a threat to declare him wanted should he fail to appear.
Hearing in the substantive charge filed by the EFCC was adjourned to today.