Thursday, 14 January 2016

EFCC to arraign Tompolo, Akpolokemi, ex-NIMASA boss, others today

EFCC to bring Tompolo, others before the court to answer to an indictment

THE Economic and Finan­cial Crimes Commission (EFCC) would today charge Government Ekpemupolo (aka Tompolo) and Patrick Akpobolokemi, a former Di­rector General of the Nigeria Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) to court.

The duo would be arraigned before a Federal High Court, Lagos, on a 40-count charge of alleged money laundering , conspiracy, stealing and diver­sion of funds, the EFCC said.

Four other persons along­side four companies are also to be arraigned. They are Kime Engozu, Rex Elem, Gregory Mbonu and Captain Warredi Enisuoh. The com­panies are Global West Vessel Specialist Limited, Odimiri Electricals Limited Boloboere Property and Estate Limited, Destre Consult Limited.

The suspects allegedly di­verted N34 billion which ac­crued from the public private partnership agreement be­tween NIMASA and Global West Vessel Specialist Lim­ited for personal use.

The EFCC said it had se­cured an order of the Federal High Court to serve the sum­mons and charge Tompolo by substituted means as the former Niger Delta militant leader has continuously evad­ed service.

The order by Justice Ibra­him Buba allows the EFCC to serve the defendant through substituted means by affixing the summons and charge on a conspicuous part of his known address, 1 Chief Agbanu Street, DDP Extension, Warri, Delta State.

But Tompolo said he was yet to receive the summons of the Federal High Court in La­gos which threatened to order his arrest if he does not appear before it today.

Meanwhile, the Federal High Court in Abuja has or­dered Tompolo’s arrest over alleged multi-billion Naira fraud involving land con­tracts for the construction of Nigerian Maritime University (NMU).

Tompolo had earlier been invited for questioning by the EFCC. He had refused to hon­our the invitation, claiming he was in court against the anti-corruption agency.

The former Niger Delta militant had his bank ac­counts frozen by the EFCC. Reports at the time said two companies linked to Tompolo, Mieka Divers Ltd and Global West Vessel Specialists Nige­ria Ltd, had their accounts fro­zen by the EFCC because of their alleged use in fraudulent exchanges.

Specifically, the EFCC wants to question Tompolo over the illicit sale of N13 bil­lion in land from him to the Federal Government. It was gathered that the Federal Gov­ernment wanted to construct the NMU and had allegedly diverted public funds through NIMASA to the militant.

He is reportedly hiding in the Niger Delta creeks and is said to have rejected any insinuation that the land deal was fraudulent, asking the EFCC to contact former Presi­dent Goodluck Jonathan for clarification.