Court Freezes Tompolo’s Properties
Justice Ibrahim Buba yesterday ordered the seizure of all the listed properties allegedly belonging to former Niger-Delta militant, Government Ekpemupolo (alias Tompolo) pending his arrest and arraignment by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).
The EFCC also told the court that the whereabouts of Tompolo are unknown and that efforts of a combined team of Nigerian police and military officers, who had been combing the Niger-Delta creeks for weeks have remained unsuccessful.
The assets ordered to be frozen by the court include: a River Crew Change Boat named MUHA – 15, the property known as “Tompolo Dockyard”, by the end of Enerhen Road, Effurun, Warri and the property known as “Tompolo Yard”, at the end of Chevron Clinic Road, next to Next Oil, Edjeba, Warri.
Others are the Diving School at Kurutie, at Escravos River, the property known as “Tompolo House” at Oporaza Town, opposite the Palace and any other property discovered by the Economic And Financial Crimes Commission, moveable and immoveable, belonging to the Tompolo.
The court had on January 14 this year ordered the arrest of Tompolo following his failure to appear before the court to face trial on a 40-counts charge of unlawful conversion preferred against him by the commission.
The former militant and the former Director of the Nigeria Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), Patrick Akpobolokemi and eight others were accused by EFCC of converting N13 billion belonging to the agency for personal use.
The EFCC had specifically accused them of converting the sums of $108.7m and N2.1billion, being the property of NIMASA and knowing that the said sum were proceeds of stealing.
Joined as co-defendants in the suit are: Global West Vessel Specialist Limited, Odimiri Electricals Limited, Kime Enagozu, Boloboere Property and Estate Ltd, Rex Elem, Destre Consult Ltd, Gregory Mbonu and Captain Warredi Enisuoh.
Their plea is yet to be taken.
At the resumed hearing of the case on Friday, counsel to the EFCC, Festus Keyamo told the court that all efforts to arrest Tompolo by security agencies has so far failed.
He said, “We wish to inform the court that the warrant of arrest that this court issued in respect of the first defendant (Mr. Ekpemupolo) has not been executed despite the best efforts of all the security agents in this country.
“Every security agent in this country is involved in the search for the first defendant. What is unfolding is something that has never been seen before in this country for a very long time,” he said.