The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission has applied to a Federal High Court in Lagos for an order to seize some assets belonging to a former Niger Delta militant leader, Government Ekpemupolo, alias Tompolo, pending when he will appear to answer charges of N45.9bn fraud preferred against him and nine others.
The application dated February 18, 2016 was filed by the EFCC lawyer, Festus Keyamo, pursuant to sections 80 and 81 of the Administration of Criminal Justice Act 2015.
The EFCC listed Tompolo’s assets which it intended to seize as his house located at No. 1, Chief Agbamu Close DDPA Extension Warri (Effurun), Delta State.
His other assets which the EFCC sought to seize are Mieka Dive Ltd.; Mieka Dive Training Institute Ltd.; Global West Vessel Specialist Ltd.; Muhaabix Global Services Ltd.; a River Crew Change Boat named MUHA -15; “Tompolo Dockyard,” “Tompolo Yard,” the Diving School at Kurutie, at Escravos River; “Tompolo House” at Oporaza Town, opposite the Palace.
The anti-graft commission also urged the court to grant it an order to take over any other movable and immovable assets belonging to Tompolo.
In a five-paragraph affidavit filed in support of the application, a lawyer from Keyamo’s chambers, Adah Adah, said he was aware that Tompolo had been invited on several occasions by the EFCC to answer allegations of fraudulent activities.
He added that a charge had been filed against him before the court but that Tompolo had persistently refused to honour all the invitations extended to him.
Adah said he was aware that Tompolo had already briefed two lawyers, Mr. Tayo Oyetibo (SAN), and Ebun-Olu Adegboruwa, to represent him.
Adah said he recalled that a bench warrant was issued against Tompolo by the court on January 14, 2016.
“That since the issuance of the warrant of arrest, the 1st accused person has absconded and concealed himself from all security forces in the country to frustrate the execution of the warrant of arrest.
“That rather than present himself to the court, the 1st accused person engaged the services of Tayo Oyetibo (SAN), who filed a motion dated 27th day of January, 2016 to set aside the warrant of arrest. The said motion was dismissed on the 8th day of February, 2016.
“That since the order for the arrest of the 1st accused person, the combined team of the Nigeria police and the military have been combing the creeks and the entire nation for the arrest of the 1st accused person, but he continues to abscond and conceal himself.”
Adah said the EFCC operatives had investigated and discovered that the assets it sought to seize indeed belong to Tompolo.
He said it would be in the interest of justice for the court to grant the application.
The EFCC filed 40 counts against Tompolo and nine others, including the immediate-past Director-General of NIMASA, Patrick Akpobolokemi.
The other suspects in the charge are Kime Engozu, Rex Elem, Gregory Mbonu and Capt. Warredi Enisuoh.
The suspects were charged along with four companies, namely: Global West Vessel Specialist Limited, Odimiri Electrical Limited, Boloboere Property and Estate Limited and Destre Consult Limited.
The suspects were accused of diverting and converting to their personal use a sum of N34bn and N11.9bn belonging to NIMASA.
The offence, according to EFCC, is contrary to Section 18 (a) of the Money Laundering (Prohibition) (Amendment) Act, 2012 and were liable to punishment under Section 15 (3) of the same Act.
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