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Justice Ibrahim Buba of Federal High Court Lagos has discharged former Niger Delta Ex-Militant Leader, Government Ekpemupolo, popularly called Tompolo, over charges of N45.9bn fraud.
Justice Buba upheld the no-case submission filed by Tompolo and others.
Government Ekpemupolo, known as Tompolo, was a key leader of rebels in the Niger Delta region in the early 2000s after an amnesty was brokered in 2009.
Nigeria’s federal high court in Lagos had repeatedly summoned the former militant leader from the country’s oil-rich Niger Delta region to appear in court to face charges of alleged corruption but never appeared.
Nigeria’s Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) took Tompolo to court to answer questions on a 40-count charge of alleged money laundering, conspiracy, stealing and diversion of funds.
The EFCC said that four other suspects would also be arraigned along with the companies Global West Vessel Specialist Limited, Odimiri Electricals Limited, Boloboere Property and Estate Limited and Destre Consult Limited.
Tompolo was the leader of the Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta (MEND), the main militant group in the region.
NewsWireNGR recalls that in February 2016, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission had declared Tompolo, wanted.
The anti-graft agency in an advertorial signed by its Head of Media and Publicity, Wilson Uwujaren, said it declared Tompolo wanted following two bench warrants issued against him by a Federal High Court in Lagos, where he has been charged with N45.9bn fraud.
In the said advertorial which carried a photograph of Tompolo, the EFCC described him as a 47-year-old, dark-complexioned man from Okerenkoko, Gbaramotu Kingdom in the Warri South-West Local Government Area of Delta State.