Tompolo Court orders EFCC to seize ex-militant leader's assets

Tompolo is charged along with nine others with 40 counts bordering on N34 billion money laundering.

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Former Niger Delta militant, Government Ekpemupolo, aka Tompolo (pictured) play

Former Niger Delta militant, Government Ekpemupolo, aka Tompolo (pictured)

(Sahara Reporters)
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A Federal High Court in Lagos on Friday ordered the forfeiture of property belonging to a former Niger Delta militant, Government 'Tompolo' Ekpemupolo.

Justice Ibrahim Buba issued the order at the resumed hearing of a case against Tompolo.

Tompolo is charged along with nine others with 40 counts bordering on N34 billion money laundering.

They are Patrick Akpobolokemi, Global West Vessel, Odimiri Electrical Ltd, Kime Engozu. Boloboere Ltd, Rex Elem, Destre Ltd, Gregory Mbonu and Captain Warrendi Enisuoh.

Buba granted the order following Tompolo's refusal to appear in court in spite of several invitations by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).

The prosecutor, Mr Festus Keyamo, had in a motion, prayed the court to order the forfeiture of property belonging to Tompolo pending the time he would appear in court.

READ: Policemen, Soldiers can't find Tompolo, EFCC tells court

He stressed that after three months, the court can order the property to be auctioned if he (Tompolo) did not make himself available in court.

This application was opposed by counsel to all other accused on the ground that the Motion Exparte was not served on them.

In his ruling, Buba held that the Administration of Criminal Justice Act 2015 empowers the court to seize property of an accused who refused to face trial.

The court recalled that even though Tompolo refused to appear in court, he briefed his lawyers and through them sought to vacate the order of his arrest.

Consequently, he ordered the forfeiture of property belonging to Tompolo pending the time he chooses to appear in court.

Property to be forfeited include a River Crew Change Boat named MUHA – 15, the property known as ''Tompolo Dockyard”, 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, and any other property discovered by the EFCC moveable and immovable.

Buba, however, refused to attach all the limited liability companies listed by the EFCC until their proof of ownership was revealed to the court.

He adjourned the case to March 22 for hearing.

In the charge, the accused were alleged to have diverted N34 billion accrued from the public private partnership agreement between NIMASA and Global West Vessel Specialist Ltd to personal uses.

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