A federal high court sitting in Ikoyi, Lagos, has granted the request of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) to seize all but one of the properties belonging to Government Ekpemupolo, a former militant popularly known as Tompolo.
Justice Ibrahim Buba, gave the order after Tompolo again failed to show up in court to honour a summons on fraudulent land contract for the construction of the Nigerian Maritime University. On Wednesday, EFCC had filed a motion before the court, seeking to freeze Tompolo’s assets.
The commission had already declared him wanted, following two bench warrants issued against him by the court. The anti-graft agency accused him and nine others of diverting and converting N46 billion belonging to the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA).
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, Buba granted the application to “seize all the properties belonging to Tompolo except all properties of Global WestVessel 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.”