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N34 Billion Fraud: Tompolo Asks Court To Suppress Arrest Warrant On Him


By Niyi Adeyi

Repentant Niger Delta Militants’ Leader, Mr. Government Ekpemupolo, aka Tompolo has demanded a Federal High Court sitting in Lagos to jettison the bench warrant it issued on him last month, over his refusal to appear before it, to answer allegation of financial related crime preferred against him and others.

Following the 40 count charge of fraud and others involving the sum of N34 Billion against him, the former Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) Director General, Patrick Akpobolokemi and four others, by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Tompolo had refused to appear in court, January 14, 2016, prompting Justice Ibrahim Buba to issue a bench warrant on him and order the security operatives to produce him in court.

In a counter application filed by his Counsels, Messrs Tayo Oyetibo (SAN) and Ebun-Olu Adegboruwa, the former militant is seeking an order by the court to set aside the warrant of arrest issued against him, as he claimed that the anti-graft body did not serve him the court summons as well as charge sheet.

The application described as fictitious the address: No.1, Chief Agbanu DDPA Extention, Warri, Delta State, where the plaintiff (EFCC) claimed it pasted the summons and the charge sheet.

Tompolo argued that the street EFCC claimed it dropped the court summon did not exist, in the history or geography of Warri or its environs.

The Counsels contended that the application filed by the EFCC to obtain the order for substituted service was incompetent as it was without the seal of the Lawyer who signed it.

Tompolo’s application, comprised Nsikan Udo, who was the deponent; claimed instead, the accused resides at No. 13 Chief Agbamu Close, DDPA Extension, Warri (Effurun), Delta State.

Similarly, Udo claimed as at January 11, 2016, when the EFCC pasted the court papers, Tompolo was at No. 1 Chief Agbamu Lane DDPA Extension, Warri (Effurun), Delta State throughout the week beginning from 11th January 2016.

The application stated that the gate of the premises known as No. 1 Chief Agbamu Close, DDPA Extension, Warri (Effurun), Delta is black in colour and is not perforated nor does it have a see-through, reddish/brown gate with iron bars shown in Exhibit GE4.

Consequently, the former militant is seeking, among others, an order setting “aside the warrant for the arrest of the 1st accused person/applicant (Government Ekpemupolo, alias Tompolo)” issued by this court on 14th January 2016 pursuant to the purported service of the summons and the criminal charge instituted in this case on the applicant.

Tompolo’s Counsels also assured that their client was willingly appear in court so as to answer the charges preferred against him.

Following this, Adegboruwa indicated that the Inspector General of Police (IGP), the Chief of Army Staff and the Navy had been informed about Tompolo’s application, so that overzealous persons would not take advantage of the court process, thus trample “on his legal rights.”

Tompolo and others, have been accused of conspiring to divert the sum of N34bn, belonging to NIMASA to personal use.

It would be recalled Tompolo last Thursday, through his Media Adviser and Consultant, Mr. Paul Bebenimibo, promised he would appear in court at the appropriate time.

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