Court Dismisses N34bn Fraud Allegations against ex-Niger Delta Militant, Tompolo

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The Nigerian Government has lost a case of fraud to the tune of N34bn against former Niger Delta Militant, Government Ekpemupolo also known as Tompolo.

A federal high court in Lagos, dismissed a 40 count charge of fraud, against Global West Vessel Specialists Limited, a company linked to Tompolo on Wednesday.

The case had been filed against the company by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) in 2015 shortly after former President, Goodluck Jonathan left office.

Tompolo had won a contract to protect oil pipelines from being vandalised in the Niger Delta, complementing the efforts of state security agents in 2014.

According to reports, the ex-warlord had been paid some mobilisation fee before Goodluck Jonathan vacated office as President in May, 2015.

The contract had however been cancelled by President Buhari upon assumption of office. The EFCC charged Tompolo and several other associates to court for N34bn fraud a few weeks later.

Other defendants in the case had included the former Director General of the Nigerian Martine Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) Patrick Akpolokemi, Kime Engozu, Rex Elem, Gregory Mbonu, and Warredi Enusuoh.

The defendants were accused of diverting the said sum of money from the coffers of NIMASA for their private use.

Several other firms, including; Odimiri Electrical Limited; Boloboere Property and estate Limited; and Destre Consult Limited, were also charged alongside Tompolo’s company by the EFCC.

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The case which was initially handled by former EFCC lawyer and now Minister of State for Labour and Employment, Festus Keyamo (SAN), initially joined Tompolo as the first defendant in the case.

The Niger Delta warlord however refused to show up after multiple summons, forcing Keyamo to appeal to the court to remove his name from the charge sheet.

In the Wednesday ruling, Justice Ibrahim Buba said the prosecution failed to establish a prima facie case against the defendants.

He thereafter dismissed the 40 count charge and set the defendants free.

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