The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) on Thursday declared a top Niger Delta militant leader, Government Ekpemupolo, alias Tompolo, wanted.
The anti-corruption agency in an advertorial signed by its Head of Media and Publicity, Wilson Uwujaren, said it declared Tompolo wanted following two bench warrants issued against him by a Federal High Court in Lagos, where he has been charged with N45.9bn fraud.
In the said advertorial which carried a photograph of Tompolo, the EFCC described him as a 47-year-old, dark-complexioned man from Okerenkoko, Gbaramotu Kingdom in the Warri South-West Local Government Area of Delta State.
The wanted Tompolo, whose address was given as No. 1, Chief Agbanu Street, DDPA Extension, Warri, Delta State, is said to speak both Izon and English languages.
The public notice by EFCC read in part, “The general public is hereby notified that Government Ekpemupolo (a.k.a. Tompolo), whose photograph appears above, is wanted by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission in relation to the offence of conspiracy, illegal diversion of the sum of N34,000,000,000.00 and N11,900,000,000.00 belonging to the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency.”
Justice Ibrahim Buba of a Federal High Court in Lagos issued a bench warrant against Tompolo on January 14 after he shunned a summons dated January 12 issued on him by the judge to appear in connection with the fraud charges filed against him and nine others by the EFCC.
Justice Buba had then ordered the law enforcement agencies to produce Tompolo before him on February 8 for him to answer the charges, but rather than appear in court on January 8, Tompolo brought an application seeking to quash the bench warrant and arrest order.
The judge, who dismissed the application for lacking in merit, renewed the arrest warrant and directed all law enforcement agencies to produce Tompolo before him on February 19.
Tompolo’s lawyer, Mr. Tayo Oyetibo (SAN), after failing to get the bench warrant vacated, turned down the responsibility of undertaking to produce his client in court.
Once you have “stolen” enough money to be able to hire a SAN in Nigeria, you are a VIP. Sigh!