Federal High Court sitting in Ikoyi, Lagos, has ordered that all but one of the properties belonging to Government Ekpemupolo, a former militant popularly known as Tompolo be seized. This followed the motion filed by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) on Wednesday requesting to seize Tompolo’s assets.
Tompolo has been accused alongside nine others of diverting and converting N46 billion belonging to the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA).
Ibrahim Buba, the presiding judge, after initially issuing two bench warrants gave the order after Tompolo again failed to show up in court. But Tompolo denied the allegation, accusing the federal government of witch-hunting him for refusing to join the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC).
On Friday [Feb 19], Buba granted the application to “seize all the properties belonging to Tompolo except all properties of Global West Vessel Specialist Ltd”.
Festus Keyamo, counsel to EFCC, told the court that the efforts of all security agencies to arrest Tompolo had yielded no result, as they were yet to get hold of the first accused person. “The accused person Tompolo failed to appear again and we brought and application for the seizure of all his properties as provided for by law,” he said.
“If an accused person continues to abscond from court and conceals himself from court after a warrant of arrest has been issued, he should be auctioned by the federal government. That’s what we have done and the court granted our prayers to seize his properties.
“We are going to separate the charge; we are going to keep his own until we get him or until we have auctioned his properties. We are just going to separate them so that he will stand alone from the other accused persons, because he is delaying the trial of the other accused persons.”