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N34billion Fraud: Tompolo drags EFCC to court over warrant of arrest

N34billion Fraud: Tompolo drags EFCC to court over warrant of arrest

Former Niger Delta militant leader, Government Ekpemupolo, alias Tompolo, has asked  Justice Ibrahim Buba of a Federal High Court in Lagos to set aside the warrant of arrest issued against him.

In a suit filed by his Lawyer, Tayo Oyetibo, SAN, Tompolo  and Ebun-Olu Adegboruwa is asking the court to vacate the order because it was granted based on factual inaccuracies presented by the Economic & Financial Commission (EFCC) and that the EFCC did not serve him with the summons and the charge sheet.

In the application, Tompolo described as fictitious the address known as No.1, Chief Agbanu DDPA Extention, Warri, Delta State, where the EFCC said it pasted the summons and the charge sheet.

“In the history or geography of Warri or its environs no such street name is known,” Tompolo claimed.

His lawyers also argued that the application filed by the EFCC to obtain the order for substituted service was incompetent because it did not bear the seal of the legal practitioner who signed it.

In an affidavit filed in support of the application, one, Nsikan Udo, who was the deponent, claimed that Tompolo’s resided at No. 13 Chief Agbamu Close, DDPA Extension, Warri (Effurun), Delta State and not No. 1, Chief Agbamu DDPA Extension, Warri, Delta State where the summons and the charge sheet were pasted by the EFCC.

The deponent claimed that as of January 11 when the EFCC went to paste the court papers, Tompolo was at “a premises known as No. 1 Chief Agbamu Lane DDPA Extension, Warri (Effurun), Delta State throughout the week beginning from 11th January 2016.”

“The gate of the premises known as No. 1 Chief Agbamu Close, DDPA Extension, Warri (Effurun), Delta is black in colour and is not perforated nor does it have a see-through, reddish/brown gate with iron bars shown in Exhibit GE4,” Udo claimed.

Tompolo is therefore seeking, among others, “an order setting aside the warrant for the arrest of the 1st accused person/applicant (Government  Ekpemupolo, alias Tompolo) issued by this court on 14th January 2016 pursuant to the purported service of the summons and the criminal charge instituted in this case on the applicant.”

Adegboruwa, in a statement, however, said his client was prepared to willingly come to court to answer any charges preferred against him.

He also said the Inspector General of Police, the Chief of Army Staff and the Navy had been notified of Tompolo’s application, “so that overzealous persons do not take advantage of the court process to attempt to trample on his legal rights.”

Justice Buba had on January 14 issued a bench warrant against Tompolo and ordered his arrest for failing to honour a court summons dated January 12 in respect of a 40-count of alleged N34bn fraud levelled against him and nine others by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission.

On January 14, while all his co-accused persons were in court with their lawyers, Tompolo was absent and was not represented by any lawyer. Tompolo is in court for alleged fraud, money laundering and conspiracy totalling N34billion involving him and former NIMASA boss, his associates and some companies.

 

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