By Philips Sunday
Following his failure to appear in court to answer charges leveled against him, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) on Tuesday arraigned former militant leader, Government Ekpemupolo (aka Tompolo) in absentia over alleged N35 billion fraud.
Recall Justice Ibrahim Buba of the Federal High Court had ordered the arrest of the former militant leader for his failure to appear before him to answer 40 counts on an alleged N45.9bn fraud but all efforts by the nation’s security agencies to produce Mr. Tompolo has been unsuccessful.
Meanwhile, he was arraigned alongside former boss of Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency, (NIMASA) Patrick Akpobolokemi, Global West Vessel Ltd, Odimiri Electrical Ltd, Kime Engozu, Boloboere Property and Estate Ltd, Rex Elem, Destre Consult Ltd, Gregory Mbonu, and Captain Warredi Enisuoh.
The accused persons were charged by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) with conspiring to commit fraud between 2012 and 2015, which they pleaded not guilty, as their legal representatives prayed the court to grant them bail.
Though the presiding judge, Justice Ibrahim Buba, granted bail to all the accused persons, Capt. Enisuoh had a tedious bail condition from the rest as he was granted bail in the sum of N50 million with one reliable surety in like sum, as Justice Buba adjourned till May 23, 24, 25 and 26 for trial.
Reacting to Mr. Tompolo’s absence in court, counsel to the EFCC, Festus Keyamo said Tompolo would be charged separately after he is arrested. “It is the duty of the security agencies and they are still making efforts to get him. He is on the run and he cannot continue to be on the run for ever. We will get him,” he said.