CORRUPTION: Jonathan’s men, women on the run – Ebuka Onyeji

A former governor of Delta State, James Ibori, who evaded arrest in Nigeria was recently released from a London prison where he served term for money laundering. Mr. Ibori had escaped to Dubai to avoid being arrested in Nigeria. He was, however extradited to the UK from the UAE, at the request of British authorities.

Like Mr. Ibori, there are other former Nigerian political office holders who have fled the country to avoid arrests and potential prosecutions for corruption.

PREMIUM TIMES reviews some of these persons, most ex-public officials, who served in the Goodluck Jonathan administration.

These include ex-ministers, aides and associates of Mr. Jonathan

They left the country under differ­ent pretences, ranging from the need for medical care to pursuit of higher education abroad.

  1. DIEZANI ALISON-MADUEKE

Diezani Alison-Madueke held the position of petroleum minister under Mr. Jonathan. She was one of the most powerful public officials in the administration.

A former director at Shell, Mrs. Alison-Madueke was first appointed into the federal cabinet in 2007 as Minister of Transport by late President Umaru Yar’Adua. In December 2008, she was redeployed to the Mines and Steel Development ministry. After former Vice President Goodluck Jonathan became acting president, Mrs. Alison-Madueke was appointed Nigeria’s first female petroleum minister in February 2010, a position she held till May 29, 2015 when Mr. Jonathan left office. Mrs. Alison-Madueke’s tenure as petroleum minister turned out one of Nigeria’s most controversial, amidst unending allegations of corruption.

Diezani Alison-Madueke
Diezani Alison-Madueke

Corruption allegations: Under her watch, probes by independent audit firms, including the KPMG, confirmed billions of Naira of oil money was mismanaged. The then Governor of Central Bank of Nigeria, Lamido Sanusi, alleged in 2014 that the missing money was about $20 billion.

Also, long before her time superintending the oil and gas sector, Mrs. Alison-Madueke was investigated by the Nigerian Senate on allegation she irregularly paid N30.9 billion to contractors as transport minister. In 2009, the Senate also indicted Mrs. Alison-Madueke and recommended her for prosecution for allegedly transferring N1.2 billion into a private account of a toll company without due process. The former minister consistently denied any wrongdoing.

She is also enmeshed in various scandals surrounding the sale or lease of Nigeria’s oil blocks.

Former President, Goodluck Jonathan
Former President, Goodluck Jonathan

In October last year, she was arrested in London along with others by the UK National Crime Agency. A few hours after her arrest, Nigeria’s EFCC operatives raided her Abuja home, located in the Asokoro district of the federal capital city, and sealed the property, after they reportedly recovered expensive jewelleries and other items from the building.

Mrs. Alison-Madueke is believed to be in the United Kingdom where in 2015 she received treatment for cancer.

Accomplices: Two separate intelligence reports identified one Donald Chidi Amamgbo as a key figure in Mrs. Alison-Madueke’s alleged money laundering activities. Another of her close business ally, Jide Omokore, is already being tried for corruption by the EFCC.

Other businessmen like Kola Aluko, Kolawale Akane and Walter Wagbatsoma were also named as close collaborators in the former minister’s suspected web of illicit financial activities. The former minister’s mother, Beatrice Agama; her son, Ugonna Madueke; and a Swiss, Melanie Spencer, were also among people she was arrested with in the UK.

  1. MOHAMMED BELLO ADOKE

Mohammed Adoke is Nigeria’s immediate past Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice. A Senior Advocate of Nigeria, he was appointed into the office on April 6, 2010, when the then Acting President Goodluck Jonathan announced a new cabinet.

As the chief law officer of the country, he wielded enormous powers,especially because he had supervisory control over prominent law enforcement agencies such as the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission, ICPC, National Drug Law Enforcement Agency, NDLEA and the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC.

Mr. Adoke was one of the first set of top officials in the Jonathan administration to flee the country a few days after President Muhammadu Buhari took over on May 29, 2015.

Bello Adoke
Bello Adoke

Supposed hideout: Mr. Adoke has stated that he left Nigeria for the Netherlands to pursue a law programme at the prestigious Leiden University.

Corruption Charges: Mr. Adoke has been fingered in at least three major multi-billion dollar deals. They include the $1.1 billion Malabu oil payment deal; $2.1 billion arms fund diversion and recently, the alleged diversion of $1.6 billion local government judgment fund.

The EFCC filed charges of money laundering and fraud against Mr. Adoke and others on December 20 at the Federal High Court, Abuja, in respect of the Malabu oil deal at the centre of which is Dan Etete, a former minister of petroleum under the late Sani Abacha. Mr. Adoke, however, responded to the charges by pledging to make himself available for trial.

Alleged accomplices: Former National Security Adviser, Sambo Dasuki, and former petroleum minister, Dan Etete.

  1. KINGSLEY KUKU

Kingsley Kuku was Special Adviser to former President Goodluck Jonathan on Niger Delta Affairs. He was also the Chair­man of the Presidential Amnesty Programme. He was one of those who left the country soon after President Buhari took over.

Mr. Kuku is suspected to be in the U.S. He has, however, insisted that he only travelled to on medical grounds.

Kingsley Kuku
Kingsley Kuku

The EFCC in July 2015 summoned Mr. Kuku for question­ing over alleged embezzlement and fraudulent diversion of funds running into hundreds of millions of Naira in the Amnesty Office. Mr. Kuku was asked to appear before the EFCC on July 28, 2015 but requested to be allowed to honour the invitation on September 30, 2015. A letter by Mr. Kuku’s lawyers to the EFCC said the former presidential aide was undergoing surgery on one of his knees. He has, however, continued to seek protection from the courts and has since been at large.

In his defence, Mr. Kuku alleged that investigation by the anti-graft agency into the amnesty funds was a calculated attempt to smear his name. Speaking through his media aide, Yemi Akintomide, in Akure, Mr. Kuku said the EFCC was too much in a hurry to nail him on corruption charges through media trial, even when he had not appeared before the agency’s investigators.

Alleged accomplices: Henry Ugbolue and Lawrence Pepple, both former aides to Mr. Kuku.

  1. GOVERNMENT EKPEMUPOLO (Tompolo)

Government Ekpemupolo is a former militant commander of the Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta, MEND. For years, Tompolo joined forces with various guerrilla groups in the Niger Delta agitating against the alleged exploitation and degra­dation of the oil-rich region by the Federal Government and international oil companies.

He, however, embraced the amnesty programme on October 4, 2009, to allow for peace, and for the govern­ment and the oil companies to carry out development projects in the region. Though not a public office holder under the Jonathan admin­istration, he wielded enormous powers and influence as one of the power brokers in that administration.

Corruption Charges: According to the EFCC which has since declared him wanted, the 47-year-old Tompolo is want­ed in a case of conspiracy and illegal diversion of the sum of N34, 000,000,000 (Thirty Four Bil­lion Naira) belonging to the Nige­rian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency, NIMASA.

Tompolo Photo: DailyPost.ng
Tompolo
Photo: DailyPost.ng

The former DG of NIMASA, Patrick Akpobolokemi, who was said to have been nominated for the office by Tompolo, is already being prosecuted for his alleged role in the scam.

Tompolo has denied involvement in the N34 billion fraud. The denial was contained in one of his many recent open letters to President Buhari from his hideout.

“The truth of the mat­ter is that I do not know anything about the 34 billion naira EFCC is talking about. First, it was 13-bil­lion naira (N13bn) issue, now it is 34 billion naira (N34bn). I am not a signatory to any of the compa­nies mentioned in the said N34bn case, so I do not know where this one is coming from”, he said in one of the letters.

Alleged Accomplices: Mr. Akpobolokemi and his six brothers.

They are Igo Akpobolokemi, Julius Akpobolokemi, Victor Akpobolokemi, Norbert Akpobolokemi, Emmanuel Akpobolokemi and Clement Akpobolokemi. Companies listed in the charge by the EFCC are Mieka Dive Training Institute Ltd/GTE, Oyeinteke Global Network Ltd, Wabod Global Resources Ltd, Boloboere Properties Estate Ltd, Gokaid Marine Oil and Gas Ltd and Watershed Associated Resources.

They were however declared as being “now at large” when the charges were read.

  1. ABDULRASHEED ABDULLAHI MAINA

Abdulrasheed Maina, a former Chairman of Pension Reform Task Team, was a close ally of Mr. Jonathan. He is wanted by the EFCC for of­fences bordering on procurement fraud and obtaining by false pretence.

The EFCC on November 18, 2015 wrote the Inspector-General of Police for assistance to get the INTERPOL to issue a world-wide alert on Mr. Maina. In response, the Commissioner of Police in charge of INTERPOL, Olusola Subair, stated that the INTERPOL had placed a red alert on the fugitive at its general secretariat in Lyon, France. Meanwhile, the EFCC is of the view that Mr. Maina might be hiding at the United Arab Emirates.

Former Chairman of the Pension Reform Task Team
Abdulrasheed Maina, Former Chairman of the Pension Reform Task Team

According to information on the EFCC website, Mr. Maina is allegedly complicit in the over N2 billion Pensions Biometric scam in the office of the Head of Civil Service of the Federation. He remains at large, after charges were filed against his alleged accomplices, includ­ing a former Head of Service of the Federation, Steve Orosanye.

Speaking from hiding through his lawyer, Olajide Olaoye, Mr. Maina disputed the fact that he is wanted by the EFCC for any crime. However, as at press time, his picture and details are still on EFCC website as one of its wanted suspects.

Alleged Accomplices: Steve Orosanye, former Head of Civil Service; Osarenkhoe Afe; Federick Hamilton Global Services Limited, Cluster Logistic Limited; Kangolo Dynamic Cleaning Limited; and Drew Investment& Construction Company Limited.

  1. BELLO FADILE

Bello Fadile is a retired colonel of the Nigerian Army. He was a close confidant of former National Se­curity Adviser, Sambo Dasuki, and a Director of Special Duties in the office of the National Secu­rity Adviser, ONSA under Mr. Dasuki.

bello_fadile_296858603
Bello Fadile

Mr. Fadile is being investigated for his alleged role in the $2.1 billion arms scandal for which various persons close to Mr. Jonathan and the PDP have either been arrested or are being prosecuted.

Messrs. Dasuki and Fadile were placed under house arrest by the State Security Service, DSS, in July 2015 after which Mr. Da­suki was arrested and still remains in the custody of the SSS despite several court orders.

Mr. Fadile’s whereabouts is unknown but he is said to be currently in the U.S.

Alleged accomplice: Former NSA boss, Sambo Dasuki.

LAWYERS REACT

Two legal practitioners spoke with PREMIUM TIMES on how the suspects can be treated by the Nigerian government.

“There is nothing wrong with our legal system which comprises various institutions and laws to effectively fight corruption, especially economic crimes.,” a lawyer, Akunne Nzube, said.

“But these laws are not effectively interpreted and implemented by the requisite institutions, including the judiciary. This deficiency is apparent in the James Ibori’s trial here in Nigeria, which ended in an acquittal and his subsequent conviction in the UK.

Former NSA Sambo Dasuki and others arraigned over misappropriation at the FCT High Court in Abuja
Former NSA Sambo Dasuki and others arraigned over misappropriation at the FCT High Court in Abuja

“The renewed enthusiasm of this present administration to restore these institutions to combat graft effectively is being hampered by the difficulties in getting the suspects extradited to face trial.”

The activist said although he sees “nothing wrong with our anti-graft laws and institutions, save for issue of inefficiency.

“But in the circumstance, I’m constrained to make the following suggestions to aid this present administration in the fight against corruption: The Legal authorities should consider alternatives like using immigration laws in foreign countries to have fugitives deported as illegal immigrant.

“They can also try whether civil legal action could be taken to sue former officials hiding overseas. Nigeria must either reform the existing institutions (including the agencies and the courts) fighting corruption for efficient and effective results or establish an emergency expeditious corruption trial bill and laws and special anti-graft courts.”

Another lawyer, Frank Obi, expressed a contrary view saying the suspects remained innocent until declared guilty by a court.

“An accused person should be presumed innocent until otherwise declared by a court of competent jurisdiction.

“The duty of the prosecutor is to prosecute and not to persecute. I suggest the judiciary be allowed to perform its role quietly without undue interference,” he said.

Court rejects Tompolo’s request to unblock his account

The Warri Division of the Federal High Court, on Thursday, dismissed a fundamental rights enforcement application by a former Niger Delta militant leader, Government Ekpemupolo, alias Tompolo, challenging the freezing of his accounts and threats of arrest by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC.

Justice E. A. Obile upheld the preliminary objection by the EFCC in the matter and struck out the matter on the grounds that it could not sit on appeal over an order made by a Lagos State High Court.

The court also said it could not restrain the EFCC from inviting or prosecuting the applicants.

The Commission had in January filed a 40-count charge against Mr. Ekpemukpolo, ex-Director General of the Nigeria Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), Patrick Akpobolokemi and others over the alleged multibillion fraud at the agency.

Others charged alongside them are Global West Vessel Specialist Ltd, Odimiri Electrical Ltd, Kime Engozu, Boloboere Property and Estate Ltd, Rex Elem, Destre Consult Ltd, Gregory Mbonu, and Captain Warredi Enisuoh.

While Mr. Akpobolokemi has been appearing in court to answer to the charges, Mr. Ekpemukpolo has consistently shunned the court summons.

A federal court had, on January 14, issued a warrant for the arrest of the former militant leader after he shunned an invitation to appear before the court.

On February 8, Justice Ibrahim Buba renewed the arrest warrant? and a few days later, the EFCC declared Mr. Ekpemupolo wanted.

Mr. Ekpemukpolo however filed a suit challenging the allegations of fraud against him.

In the suit, filed on his behalf by a Lagos-based lawyer, Ebun-Olu Adegboruwa, the former militant leader contended that sections 221 and 306 of the Administration of Criminal Justice Act (ACJA) 2015, which prohibit him from seeking a stay of proceedings in his trial, were infringing on his constitutional rights to fair hearing.

He asked the court to nullify sections 221 and 306 of the ACJA and restrain the FG, EFCC and the Inspector General of Police from deploying those sections of the law against him.

REVEALED: Pastor Oritsejafor linked to sponsorship of Niger Delta Avengers [NAIJ]

TaShawn, a wife to Bolaino Akwenuke (a warlord/close associate of Tompolo) visited Warri, Delta state, last December with intentions to do mission work in villages affected by the spills. TaShawn spent four months there and was unable to do anything due to high crime in the areas. Recently, she speaks with Bolaino Akwenuke on the current situation in the oil-rich region, which has been constantly suffering from the attacks of the militants.
Mr Akwenuke denied that former Niger Delta warlord Chief Government Ekpemupolo, alias Tompolo, is supporting the activities of the militants. Instead, he claimed that the sponsor of the Niger Delta Avengers is Pastor Ayo Oritsejafor. Akwenuke also speaks about the role of Pastor Ayo in the Dasukigate and government of Muhammadu Buhari.
In life, you never know who you will meet. I say this while reflecting upon my decision to visit Nigeria last December 2015. I would have never imagined I would stumble into a man who is part of a situation that can impact so many lives in a negative or positive way depending on how this story plays out. When I arrived at the airport In Lagos last year I was escorted by the kindest man I had ever met. My travel itinerary contained plans of travel to Warri and then to visit rivers area of Delta state to help victims affected by the oil spills.
We made it Warri but we never reached the rivers area due to high crime, military action and oil pipeline and facility bombings. At the time the incidents were being blamed on Tompolo; I know this because while there I became interested in Nigerian news and we would read the local papers daily. What I did not know is the extent of involvement my host played in the situation. Nor did I know that his involvement would lead to my own.
Fast forwarding to today and here we are: bombings still occurring in the Delta region, Tompolo still being framed, and me assisting Akwenuke Bolaino Marho, the nice man who met me at the airport in Lagos December 2015, to tell his story of involvement; not only how he is involved but also to disclose the real culprit behind the Shell and Chevron Texaco oil facility bombings. In one of the most recent conversations that I and Bolaino have had he mentioned that tribal tension had been on the rise and if things continued than his tribe the Urhobo and the Ijaw tribe, for which Tompolo belongs to may fight each other. As I asked him why the conversation proceeded and this is what ensued:
TaShawn: So why will your tribe (Urhobo) fight the Ijaws?
Bolaino: They are trying to frame me up, I will not fold my hands and allow people kill Americans and blame it on my organization. The only thing that will solve all this is if that pastor is arrested. Ijaw and Urhobo people are killing each other more each day in the villages, and the man who is responsible for this is going out to party.  Pastor Ayo Oritsejafor, immediate past CAN president Pastor Ayo Oritsejafor, immediate past CAN president
TaShawn: Who is this man you speak of?
Bolaino: The man is the devil incarnate himself. He succeeded in making the Itsekiri and Ijaw fight endlessly in Delta state many years ago. He succeeded then and he is succeeding again. This time around the death rate from a tribal war between Urhobo and Ijaw going the way it is already will be devastating. My parents’ house will be burnt to ashes and all houses in the area. As it is now, there is already a refugee crises as Ijaw people are moving out of my area in Udu which is an Urhobo community. Some are being harassed and assaulted, and Tompolo has told me that if all this should continue we will fight each other.
TaShawn: Do you want to fight Tompolo ?
Bolaino: No I do not want to fight, I want peace.
TaShawn: Have you told anyone else about this?
Bolaino: I have been telling everyone for the past few weeks how they want to give me a name that is not my own. From the FBI, CIA, to the State Department. My country, my Senator, my ministers, etc. but they are acting like imbecilas, as if they don’t know A from B. They are forcing my hands. I have called the Nigerian Army. DSS. All of them. I have called the minsters I know. They pick the call and pretend to listen, and tell me they will do something about it but all the while, things are escalating.
TaShawn: How has the situation escalated and you never mentioned the Pastor’s name?
Bolaino: His name is Ayo Oristsejafor. He is now moving his guns and weapons from his church to Urhobo communities to fuel tribal war. They plan on blowing up a Chevron facility and putting the blame on me and my movement (MFPND). That is why I had to go to the creeks this period to plan for this. I have written about this man, there are a lot of things he has done if there is a Satan that is who he is.
TaShawn: So why are you telling me and how do you expect these agencies to help?
Bolaino: I want you to expose this man. It is the only way to end this situation. There is evidence to put him in prison, but Nigerian people are scared of him, because he is a pastor. If you can help to expose him everything will be over.. the militancy in the region, etc.
TaShawn: What kind of evidence do you have and are you sure it will stick to him?
Bolaino: I can tell you everything if you agree to help and are willing to listen. You will need to write all of this down.
TaShawn: Alright I will do what I can to help and am ready to listen…
Bolaino: Ok, firstly, Pastor Ayo is the Chief sponsor of the militant group The Niger Delta Avengers (NDA)
TaShawn: Are you are saying that Tompolo is not the one giving the NDA orders?
Bolaino: That is exactly what am saying. He (Pastor Ayo) sponsors them by giving weapons and ammunition. He gives them targets to bomb in the Niger Delta.
TaShawn: Now Bolaino how can you allege that a Pastor is the sponsor of such a deadly group. What proof do you have of this allegation?
Bolaino: Yes we have very strong proof of his involvement in the bombings of the Niger Delta. But we will only show the evidence to incorruptible government lawyers and we are ready to stand in a competent court of law to defend our allegations. I assure you we have corroborative evidence against this man and the media can attest to its truthfulness. I want to discuss this evidence with men and women of the press.
TaShawn: Ok, what exact evidence do you have on the Pastor?
Bolaino: First and foremost the pastor uses his private aeroplane to ferry drugs and guns from America and other parts of Europe to Nigeria. He has been caught once by the Authorities, but the corrupt government of the former president of Nigeria swept it under the rug.
TaShawn: Why did the former president not apprehend the Pastor at that time he was caught?
Bolaino: The plane was purchased with money from the Government scams involving the Nigerian Army. At the time the pastor was helping with corrupt Government officials in Nigeria to launder money with his bank Eagle Flight Micro Finance Bank . They were stealing money meant for fighting insurgency in the North Eastern part of Nigeria. At the time Colonel Sambo Dasuki was in charge of ripping the army off from the inside, since he was in government at the time.
TaShawn: Please explain more in depth how these men, Dasuki and Ayo operated inside the scandal?
Bolaino: They were supposed to buy aeroplanes, weapons, and ammunition for the Nigerian Army fighting Boko Haram, but these monies were never spent on the things that were needed to be purchased.
TaShawn: Is this a factor of why Boko Haram is still at large in Northern/ Northeast Nigeria presently?
Bolaino: Yes, as a result, Boko Haram invaded the Northeast and Nigerian army men were running away from the battle field because they were not well equipped enough and they became mutinous.
TaShawn: Is that the only evidence you have?
Bolaino: No, we have more, We have evidence that he was caught once more working with Hezbollah organisation in Nigeria. They were helping him to buy weapons in South Africa when his plane was caught with over 9 million dollars. When they questioned him as to what he intended to do with that large sum of money the response was that he wanted to buy arms and ammunition from a South African defence contraction company. After the claims were investigated they were found to be false. This lead us to believe that he was preparing for secession in Nigeria if the ruling party at the time lost. Prior to that time he and others at large had tried to assassinate Mr Muhamadu Buhari, in a twin car bomb attack in Kaduna. Fortunately, Buhari survived.
TaShawn: Bolaino how did you come to learn all this information?
Bolaino: The pastor told us in an informal gathering of warlords that period that they did it because they did not want Buhari to survive; they knew that if they allowed him to contest in the election they would loose and he would win. Afterwards, the pastor came up with the “BuhariBokoHaramOp”. See at the time he was the leader of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) so he had a cult following and he still does to this day.
TaShawn: What do you mean by “he had a cult following” and exactly how did the pastor use his following to further his agenda?
Bolaino: I mean he had a mass following of pastors and their members that would do as he said with no questions asked. He started telling his pastors and their members in churches all over Nigeria that Buhari is a terrorist. That Buhari planned to Islamize Nigeria if he won. Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Tompolo Former Niger Delta warlord Tompolo
TaShawn: Since you say “we” a lot I am assuming there are witnesses other than yourself that can attest to this information you are sharing with me today?
Bolaino: Yes, we have numerous witnesses to this scandal. Myself being one of course. But Pastor Ayo and his followers did this for long, even until this day that propaganda still thrives on, hence the current disposition of my fellow warlords to Buhari. As they still honestly believe that Buhari is the sponsor of the Boko Haram. They don’t know any better otherwise. But as God would have it everything they did in trying to kill Buhari or spoil his image was in vein. At the time of the past election, it has to be mentioned that the pastor was campaigning for PDP which is the party of the former president.
TaShawn: Ok, so to back track a little you mentioned you are a warlord, but that you currently want peace; are you saying that some warlords in Nigeria are fighting for peace?
Bolaino: Yes, I am a warlord, and once again yes I and other warlords want peace to reign throughout Nigeria, as there is no reason to fight. The problem is corruption and greed. To add to my earlier information, we received word of Ayo’s involvement in the assassination attempt on Buhari in 2014 by a former Hezbollah operative we caught at sea after the act. He confessed to it before he died. That was when we started to connect the dots between him and the Hezbollah network in Delta state. After his candidate lost he sent a mole into the APC (opposing political party) in the person of Chief Ayiri Emami.
TaShawn: Who is this Chief Ayiri, what is his background and why did Pastor Ayo choose him as a mole?
Bolaino: Ayiri is known in Warri as a popular assassin and ritualist, so he was welcomed into the APC. Ayiri made sure to enter the APC two days after it was announced that his former party the PDP had lost the election. The APC being a party of Northern extraction did not fully understand the workings of the Niger Delta Politicians/ warlords. So it was from here on that the Niger Delta agitation was hijacked by Pastor Ayo and his cohorts. This is where everything started, this is where the story is today.
TaShawn: And what of Tompolo and how are you so deeply involved and knowledgable of all this information that no one else will speak of ?
Bolaino: Tompolo is a good man, a man that I owe immense gratitude to. He is the one that inspired me to join the Niger Delta struggle for resource control. He was always helping the poor and making them millionaires over night. It was strange because no one else in the region had ever done anything like it before. Although he was an outlaw when I first met him, he was given amnesty and I was not, so I began working with pastor Ayo and Ayiri.
TaShawn: Ayiri, Ayo, Tompolo and You are Warlords? Any other names I should know of that pertain to this story?
Bolaino: Ayiri is a warlord for all the Itsekiri people of Delta state. You have to also know that Pastor Ayo is also of the Itsekiri tribe, with the former Governors of the Delta state. Chief Ibori who was the first democratic governor of Delta state is half Urhobo and half Itsekiri. It was through his cousin Governor Uduaghan who is the immediate past governor of Delta state; he is also Itsekiri, and he is also the brains behind the whole NDA operation. He does the planning, strategizing etc. He is a brilliant man but he only uses his brilliance for evil. He is the evil genius behind all this and he is also the one who set Ibori up. Ibori is currently serving jail time in the UK. Ibori, his wife Nkoyo, and his sisters and lawyers are all serving time in the UK. They were all set up by the same people who are about to set me and Tompollo up. So I started working with Pastor Ayo.
TaShawn: Why is Ibori in jail?
Bolaino: There are newspaper articles to corroborate what I am saying. These things are public knowledge, well not all but some. They are deceiving the Deltans. Did you not hear of the Monseca law firm scandal? That indicted many prominent men and women of the world for tax evasion and financial crimes. Ibori is highly implicated in that scandal, as his name was released in the leaks. Google it. The British government intends on levelling new fresh charges against him.
TaShawn: Alright, now please tell me what you want the media and press to do? Especially the American press…
Bolaino: I have gone to British Media many times. They know all this but are afraid to do anything. Many people only hear my name but they do no know my face. I need to put a face to my name for the sake of peace to reign. I want you and others to take this issue very seriously, please. We want these things to be published everywhere in news in the US because what is happening now concerns them a lot. It is common knowledge that American and British companies like Shell and Texaco operate in Delta state. The Niger Delta Avengers have been blowing up Shell facilities, but they have not been blowing up much of Texaco facilities.
TaShawn: Do you know why it’s mostly the Shell facilities being bombed?
Bolaino: Good question, yes I do. Shell operates in the Ijaw part of the Delta state, namely the Shell oil exporting tank at Forcados, In Ogulagha Kingdom. While Chevron Texaco is located in the Itsekiri part of Delta state. Texaco has an oil exporting tank farm at Ugboroda in Warri Southwest Escravos of Delta state. TaShawn: Are you going to get to how this all escalates into Tribal conflict and future war?
Bolaino: Yes, that is where I am going to. You have to know that for many decades the Ijaws and Itsekiris have been fighting tribal war in the Delta state for long. The fight is usually on and off, and when they fight they burn down everywhere in Warri. The reason we moved to the area (my family and I) we are currently staying is because of the tribal fighting in that part of Warri we used to stay. They were always burning down houses and the house we were staying in Ogborikoko at the time was owned by an Ijaw man. So we were at risk of our house being burnt by the Itsekiris at any time. So after the former president lost the election and Ayiri switched into the APC just two days after his former party lost the election it was assumed that Ayiri had betrayed them at the federal government level of the PDP.
TaShawn: So who are the Urhobo/ Isoko preparing to fight presently?
Bolaino: Currently the Ijaws. Pastor Ayo is giving us all the weapons we need to fight.
TaShawn: So why aren’t you happy about this, why tell me to expose the man who is helping you?
Bolaino: He is a bad man. The reason I am angry is because he tried to kill me when I refused. If not that I am a strong man, a man of the spirits then I would be dead by now and my son would be fatherless for sure, but God Disgraced him.
TaShawn: Why are they fighting?
Bolaino: They are fighting because the pastor set us up to fight and gave the order. TaShawn: So in Nigeria, one must fight when a Pastor gives the order because he is a warlord who hands them out weapons ?
Bolaino: Yes Jesus is God in Nigeria, anything church if you oppose it they will kill you. Do you know how many thousands of people pastors have killed in Delta State? You don’t. They sent people to my house. My father and mother have relocated to other regions. Right now he is distributing Guns out to people under his boy Ayiri and others at large. He is the one (The pastor Ayo) who told the King of Aladja and Urhobo Community that God revealed to him that if he does not tell his fellow Urhobo Kings to drive out Ijaws from Urhobo land that the Ijaws will take over all of Urhobo land in the next year 2017 with the Biafrans. The Biafrans have vowed to tear Nigeria apart by January next year to fulfil America’s prediction of Nigeria breaking into pieces in 2017.
TaShawn: Do you know why he (Pastor Ayo) is doing all this?
Bolaino: He is doing all this to escape prison. Many of the people he shared federal government money with meant to fight Boko Haram, are currently in prison. They are mentioning his name in statements, and soon he will be indicted. So he is doing this in order to escape being arrested. This is what he told me before trying to kill me. He tried to kill me in his church, this is where we hold meetings and that is also where he stores the weapons for the NDA. Tompolo and I were preparing to submit all our weapons to the government, but our hands are being forced to fight one another; if this pastor is caught the bloodshed will cease.
The views expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not necessarily represent the editorial policy of Omojuwa.Com

Tompolo Denies Involvement In Planned Niger Delta Attacks

Mr. Government Ekpemupolo, alias Tompolo, a leading figure in Niger Delta militancy, has dissociated himself from planned attacks on oil facilities and installations. Tompolo was reacting to allegations made by an online medium and on a Channels Television program that militants have vowed to attack more oil facilities if the corruption-related charges slammed on him by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) are not dropped.

In a statement issued on Sunday and signed by his media consultant, Paul Bebenimibo, Tompolo dissociated himself from this threat, saying he gave nobody instructions to attack oil facilities in the Niger Delta region because of his case with the EFCC.

The statement added that Tompolo has consistently denied involvement in the resurgence and bombing of oil facilities in the Niger Delta region and accused those mentioning his name of seeking cheap relevance.

“This online publication came two days after one Michael Johnny accused Tompolo on a Channels Television program, ‘State of the Nation’, of being behind the bombing of oil facilities in the Niger Delta region. Tompolo watched the program with great disbelief, as Michael Johnny accused him of being the brain behind the bombing of oil facilities,” the statement said.

It added that information at the disposal of security agencies, however, indicated that a suspect in custody has confessed that Michael Johnny sent him to bomb oil facilities.

“That means Michael Johnny is the one behind the bombing of oil facilities in the Niger Delta. Tompolo has instructed his lawyers to sue Michael Johnny for malicious damage.

“Tompolo sued the EFCC for illegally placing a non-debit order in his company account in Warri before he was hurriedly dragged to court by the EFCC in Lagos. And after a year, the court has refused to hear his case for frivolous excuses. And he has vowed to patiently pursue his case rather than resorting to violence and bombing of oil facilities which is greatly affecting our economy,” added the statement.

Buhari plans to arrest Goodluck Jonathan – Tompolo

Former Niger Delta militant, Government “Tompolo” Ekpemupolo has said that the Federal Government is planning to arrest former president, Goodluck Jonathan.

Tompolo said further, during an interview with Sahara Reporters, that the FG is trying to use him to get through to Jonathan

“I am just a victim of circumstances. I am just a perceived enemy of the government. The intention of the government was to arrest former President Goodluck Jonathan. But they feel that arresting Jonathan without arresting me may be difficult, that was the reason why they are after me,” he said.

Tompolo also denied being a sponsor of militant group, Niger Delta Avengers (NDA).

“I have refuted the allegation. Even the government knows that I am not a sponsor of the Niger Delta Avengers. They are only looking for something to nail me,” He said.

Jonathan has also been accused of sponsoring NDA but the former president has since denied the reports.

Tompolo has been in hiding since he was accused of money laundering by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).

Death Of Tompolo’s Father Threatens Ceasefire In Niger Delta

The death, last week of Chief Thomas Ekpemupolo, father of ex-militant leader, Government Ekpemupolo (Tompolo), is threatening the fragile peace in the Niger Delta, Reuters reported on Monday, saying militants were becoming restive over the circumstances of the death.

The militants massed in the Niger Delta Avengers (NDA), that had dealt heavy blows to oil and gas installations in the region, had entered into an unofficial ceasefire with the federal government, pending formal negotiations of their grievances last month.

But the death of the father of the militant leader, the report said, might reverse the little gains of the peace process and lead to the resumption of hostilities as the militants were said to be holding the military vicariously liable for the incident.

The octogenarian had fallen while fleeing an army raid on his hometown in May and injured his leg, which had to be amputated two months later, said a spokesman for his son, Tompolo.

The old man died last week from complications arising from the amputation. And the NDA militants were said to be agitated by this.

Although security sources said Tompolo had links to the NDA, which had claimed responsibilities for the attacks on oil and gas installations, which incidentally began shortly after corruption charges were brought against him, he had persistently denied any involvement in the acts.

“In a nutshell, [the] government caused the death of my father,” Frank Ekpemupolo, another son, said at a gathering of 400 mourners at his father’s compound in Warri, the largest city in Delta State.

Mourners including community chiefs, politicians and villagers accused troops of harassing people in the fishing communities dotted along the region’s waterways.

An Avengers spokesman told Reuters the military was “harassing poor people of the Niger Delta”. The military denies it, saying troops are merely searching for militants and criminals.

Several new militant groups have sprung up in the last few weeks, each with its own demands, and some have vowed to launch a new wave of attacks.

Community leaders say they are concerned that the government has not contacted militants or unveiled a negotiation team, three weeks after the Avengers said they were ready for the promised talks.

“We haven’t been contacted, but we are not worried,” said the Avengers spokesman.
Captain Mark Anthony, a spokesman for the Niger Delta Liberation Force, a defunct militant group, said the “government’s muteness” since the Avengers announced a ceasefire was creating “a security concern for everybody”.

“They have only stopped bombing temporarily. It doesn’t mean they are tired of bombing,” he said.
An army offensive was launched in late August against militant camps which led to the deaths of five people and the arrests of 23 others.

Eric Omare, spokesman for the Ijaw Youth Council (IYC), which represents one of the region’s largest ethnic groups, said statements by President Muhammadu Buhari that militants would be treated like Boko Haram jihadists prompted fears that the offer of talks was a ruse to prepare for a military onslaught.

Tensions in Warri are concentrated along its murky brown waterways — used by fishermen, commuters and thieves stealing crude oil — where fleeting encounters with strangers can end in bloodshed.

Boats slow down and their occupants raise their arms when they encounter naval patrol boats fitted with machine guns.

Fishermen say they fear being mistaken for militants and shot. Gunmen disguised as priests killed three soldiers last month.

An official who did not want to be named said “arrangements” were being made to resume dialogue with the militants.

He said the government wanted each militant group to send representatives, rather than acting through intermediaries as in the past.

“The North Wants To Islamize Niger Delta”, Militant Group Cries Out.

A militant group, Niger Delta Revolutionary Crusaders, NDRC, Monday, alleged that there was an Islamic agenda by northerners to conquer and enslave the people of Niger Delta because of their oil.

 

The group in a statement by the spokesperson W O I Izon-Ebi, said: “Their first step is to use few of our greedy political elites. The second plan is to frame distinguished leaders with frivolous charges. The third one is to incite crisis for the military to come into the Niger Delta with the sole purpose to kill all the vibrant and brave youths of the region that are mouth piece and leaders of tomorrow.”

 

It asserted: “To further expose their Islamic agenda to own our oil and enslave us, they have gone further to absorb more than 250,000 civilian JTF into the Nigerian Army and even boasting to absorb more into the military and paramilitary force.”

 

“As if that is not enough, they are offering the Boko Haram Amnesty with the sole aim to invade the Niger Delta in the name of fighting militants. The drafting of Special Forces to the Niger Delta is not a threat to the people Niger Delta, because before this time we have known the Islamisation plot of recruiting Saudi Mercenaries, absorbing civilian JTF, and recruiting of Boko Haram members to form a special force to invade the Niger Delta,” NDRC said.

 

It added: ”Niger Deltans have suffered in the hands of the Nigerian government through their divide and rule tactics and few criminal minded elites to impoverish the people. This is why from 1957 when oil was discovered in commercial quantity in Oloibiri till date, there is nothing to show as an oil producing region. All we see is suffering, hunger, poverty, gas flaring, and degradation.”

 

“Now, their ploy is to cause disunity in the Niger Delta in order to go on with their exploration and exploitation. All what we see now in the Niger delta is disunity, witch-hunting, tribal sentiment, poverty, which they are using in order to achieve their purpose. These things are done deliberately to disorganize the people of the Niger Delta to enable them continue with oil exploration.

 

“Even in political appointments, they try to use it to create disunity among the people. Example, in the NDDC, if truly they meant well for the region, there will not be any need for agitation, an Isoko man is from Delta state, why are the Itsekiri people protesting, in Ondo, the same thing, Akwa Ibom the same thing, Abia the same thing,” the group stated.

NDRC declared: “They are now using our resources to acquire weapons and fighters to enslave us in this 21st century. We are very sad with our brothers that use Niger Delta struggle to enrich themselves and at the same time being used by the northerners to achieve their aim of exploiting the oil.”

 

It noted: “They feel that they have settled some few charlatans and criminals that call themselves ex-militants, using them to hijack the struggle that our distinguished sons and fathers stood for. Isaac Adaka Boro never took sides against his people or enriched himself, Ken Saro-Wiwa laid his life for this same course, Government Epkomupolo aka Tompolo, the prince of Ijaw deity (Egbesu), initiated the one and only Nigerian Maritime University, NMU.”

 

Commending Ijaw elders and leaders for standing on the truth, last weekend, in Warri, the group said: “The spirit and courage, fearlessness, bravery is motivating us to put a stop to this planned Islamic agenda against the Niger Delta. Just as we are asking our fathers why did allow their age mates from the north to put Niger Delta in this pathetic condition, we shall not allow our children to ask us the same question.”

 

It said: “If the government is truly sincere about solving the Niger Delta crisis, they should discuss with our distinguished elders. The proposed release of Henry Okah, Charles Okah, and Nnamdi Kanu and others is a well come development to build the dialogue process.”

 

NDRC, however, opposed the idea of the Movement for the Emancipation of Niger Delta, MEND leading the dialogue between militants and government, saying: “MEND should stop embarrassing our distinguished leaders from the region because Niger Deltans knows that MEND has been disbanded, granted amnesty and settled with pipeline contract.”

 

“When we checked Government Tompolo, GOC, Empkomupolo is declared wanted by the EFCC, Alhaji Asari is in support of the cause, Ateke Tom is peacefully in his community with his philanthropic gesture and spirit to see the well-being of his people earning the title of a first class chief in his kingdom. Henry Okah is in jail, Charles Okah is in jail. So who is speaking for MEND now?

 

“Can they honorably unmask themselves, if they are truly fighting for the well-being of the region, or is it a ploy to connive with the federal government to eliminate our bravest youths? It said.

Soldiers Invade Tompolo’s Town Kurutie (Little London)

Soldiers swooped on Kurutie (Little London), another community in Gbaramatu kingdom, Warri South-West Local Government Area, Delta State, ?in six gunboats at about 4.30 am, today (Monday) , hunting for members of the Niger Delta Avengers.

The residents were asleep when they came, but many scampered into the bush when heard the sound of the gunboats. The soldiers, who quickly cordoned the community, embarked on a house to house search. “I am looking at the soldiers from a hideout in the bush, they are going from house to house. We know their tactics, so we ran away when they landed this morning at the jetty in the town, belonging to Tompolo’s father,” an informant said on phone at abot 5.30am.

Tompolo has repeatedly denied having any link with the Niger Delta Avengers, but the military seemed to disbelieve him , and were chasing him.

It was gathered that Tompolo’s father was not in Kurutie when soldiers stormed the town this morning, but an over 70-year-old man, simply identified as Do Good Ikekama, is among the citizens allegedly molested and forced to take the soldiers around some homes.

Ijaw leader, Chief Godspower Gbenekama, confirmed the siege to Kurutie. He said that despite? the appeal by the Gbaramatu monarch, HRM Oboro Gbaraun II, to the Coordinator of the Presidential Amnesty Programme, Brigadier General Paul Boroh (retd) that the soldiers should be professional in their duties, they were still harassing people. However, the soldiers, according to reports, left the community at about 6.30am ?.

Credit: Vanguard

 

Oil Facilities Attacks: Tompolo Calls On Militants To Ceasefire

The ex-militants leader, High Chief Government Ekpemupolo (Tompolo), yesterday called on the new militant group, the Niger Delta Avengers, to put an end to its attacks on oil facilities, saying it would not do the nation any good, especially at this critical period of the country’s economy.

In a statement titled: ‘A Call to the Niger Delta Avengers to give Peace a Chance in the Niger Delta Region,’’ which he personally signed, the Ibe-ebidouwei of the Ijaw nation denied any involvement in the recent attacks.

According to him, ‘’You members of the Niger Delta Avengers group are aware that some mischievous persons have continued to point accusing fingers at me that I am either behind you or directly carrying out the destruction of oil pipelines across the Niger Delta region, therefore I should be arrested by the Nigerian military.

“Sadly, the military had bought this ethnic induced and wicked accusation without a single proof to show that I am truly behind you people. On the other hand, some have suggested that you may be part of the multitude of persons I had catered for, from economically empowering to payment of school fees, hospital bills, and house rents and so on.

“And that as I am out of circulation as a result of my travails in the hands of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), you might be tempted to strike out on your own for sheer survival.’’

Maintaining that he knows nothing about the new militant group and the destruction of crude oil facilities in the Niger Delta region, Tompolo said he had made it clear in many occasions that the issue he has with the EFFC would not make him resort to violence and bombing of oil pipelines.

He added that his team of lawyers had already challenged the defective process of legal service on him at the Court of Appeal.

Credit: Thisday

Tompolo Bribed Akpobolokemi To Defraud NIMASA Of N23.8bn – Witness

An investigator with the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, Ahmed Ghali, claimed on Monday that a former Niger Delta militant leader, Government Ekpemupolo, aka Tompolo, defrauded the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency of about N23.8bn between April 2012 and March 2015, through a contract awarded to his company.

Ghali claimed that the N23.8bn was an overpayment on the said contract awarded to Tompolo’s company, Global West Vessel Specialist Limited, by NIMASA under the watch of a former Director-General of the agency, Patrick Akpobolokemi.

Ghali also alleged that Akpobolokemi breached the private-partnership agreement in the award of the contract to Tompolo’s company in return for a bribe of N700m.

According to him, the contract was for the  “improvement of security within the Nigeria maritime domain, improvement in data collection, improvement of cabotage and revenue generation enforcement, improvement of safety of life at sea and enhancement of search and rescue, improvement in pollution control and management leading to cleaner waters.”

Ghali appeared on Monday as the first prosecution witness before a Federal High Court in Lagos where the EFCC filed a 40-count of alleged N45.9bn fraud against Tompolo, Akpobolokemi and eight others.

While Akpobolokemi and the eight others defendants were arraigned on March 22, 2016, Tompolo, who had shunned a court’s summons served on him to appear in court, has yet to be arraigned.

The other defendants in the alleged fraud case filed before Justice Ibrahim Buba are Kime Engozu, Rex Elem, Gregory Mbonu and Capt. Warredi Enisuoh.

Others are Global West Vessel Specialist Limited, Odimiri Electrical Limited, Boloboere Property and Estate Limited and Destre Consult Limited.

Led in evidence on Monday by the EFCC prosecutor, Mr. Rotimi Oyedepo, Ghali claimed that NIMASA and Tompolo’s company entered into a public-private partnership agreement on April 3, 2012.

Ghali claimed that the fraud began when a benchmark for sea protection levy was altered, adding that despite protests by a NIMASA director, Victor Onwuzuruike, the alteration was approved by Akpobolokemi.

He said, “Based on this fraudulent benchmark, which was not in line with the PPP agreement, Mr. Akpobolokemi approved payment of the total sum of N132,590,694.86 and $42,331,549.85 between 2012 and 2015 from the sea protection levy generated by NIMASA in favour of Global West.

“Investigation revealed that apart from the fraudulent payment of the sea protection to Global West, NIMASA, under Mr. Akpobolokemi, also compromised the benchmark stipulated in Schedule III of the agreement.

“In violent breach of the sacrosanct provision of the PPP agreement, Mr. Akpobolokemi, on June 4, 2012, gave a verbal directive to the committee on benchmark to prepare another benchmark contrary to the agreement.

“NIMASA overpaid Global West with a whopping sum of N2,935,250,447.06 and $114,750,076.35 (about N22,863,952,712.74) between April 2012 and March 2015,” Ghali said.

According to him, Global West allegedly paid kickbacks to Akpobolokemi through a company in which he is a director.

 

Credit: Punch

N47.7bn NIMASA Fraud: EFCC Arraigns Tompolo, Seven Others In Absentia

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) monday arraigned the former Niger Delta militant, Government Oweize Ekemupolo, popularly called Tompolo, in absentia before a Federal High Court in Lagos on a 22-count charge bordering on fraud, conversation of money and forgery.

Also arraigned in absentia were siblings of the immediate past Director-General of the Nigerian Maritime Administration Safety Agency (NIMASA), Dr. Patrick Ziadeke Akpolobokemi, who was also arraigned before the court.
The Akpolobokemi’s siblings were: Igo Akpolobokemi, Julius Akpolobokemi, Stephen Akpolobokemi, Victor Akpolobokemi, Norbert Akpolobokemi, Emmanuel Ebizimo Akpolobokemi, and Clement Akpolobokemi.

While those arraigned alongside the former NIMASA Director-General were: Kime Engozu, Josephine Otuaga and Rita Uruakpa.

Also docked with Akpolobokemi are seven limited liability companies which include Mieka Dive Training Institute LTD/GTE, Oyeinteke Global Network Limited, Wabod Global Resources Limited, Boloboere Properties Estate Limited, Gokaid Marine and Oil and Gas Limited, Muhaabix Global Service Limited and Watershed Associated Resources.
The EFCC in charge number FHC/L/C/31c/2016, alleged that the accused persons had in sometime 2014, within the jurisdiction of the court with an intend to defraud, conspired among themselves and obtained the total sum of N47,683,464,822 from the federal government.

The accused persons also alleged to have between May 6, 2014, and December 2, 2014, forged and uttered a Certificate of Customary Rights of Occupancy of the old Bendel State of Nigeria, and purportedly issued same to NIMASA, claiming that it was issued by Warri South Local Government Council, Delta State, to the prejudice of the Federal Government of Nigeria.

They were also alleged to have received sum of N11,900,000,000 from the federal government, by falsely pretending that all the land and its appurtenances lying and situated at Mieka Diva Training Institute, Kurutie, Warri South council area Delta State, be acquired by the NIMASA, for the temporary campus of Nigerian Maritime University, Okerenkoko, Warri South, council area is from encumbrance.

The offences, according to EFCC prosecutors, Mr. Festus Keyamo and Rotimi Oyedepo, are contrary to sections 8, 1(b) of Advance Fee Fraud, 18 (a), 15 (1) of money Laundering Prohibition Amendment Act, 2012, and punishable under section 1 (3), 15(3) of the same Act, and 1(2)(c) Miscellaneous Offences Act, Cap. M17, Laws of the federation 2004.

All the accused persons pleaded not guilty to the charges.
Their lawyers, Dr. Joseph Nwobike (SAN), Mr. inaji E. U. and Mr. Oyesoji Oyeleke, urged the court to admit them to bail in liberal term. Nwobike and Inaji, particularly, pleaded with the court to allow their clients, Akpolobokemi and Kime Engozu, to continue with the bail terms granted them in other criminal charges they have before the court.
Ruling on the bail application, the presiding judge, Justice Ibrahim Buba, while conceding to the request of Nwobike and Inaji, however admitted bail to Josephine Otuaga, Rita Uruakpa in the sum of N50 million with one surety each. The surety, according to Justice Buba, must show evidence of landed property within the jurisdiction of the court, and sworn to affidavit of means, while the two accused persons be remanded in EFCC custody pending the perfection of their bail conditions.

The matter was adjourned till May 30 and 31 for trial.

Credit: Thisday

Tompolo Sues FG Over N45.9bn Fraud Charges

Wanted former Niger Delta militant leader, Government Ekpemulopo, alias Tompolo, has commenced legal action against the Federal Government of Nigeria, challenging the N45.9bn fraud charges filed against him.

Tompolo, who approached the Federal High Court in Lagos through his lawyer, Mr. Ebun-Olu Adegboruwa, is seeking an order restraining the Federal Government and its agencies from further proceeding with the N45.9bn fraud charges filed against him.

The defendants in the suit are the Federal Government of Nigeria, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, the Inspector-General of Police, the Chief of Army Staff, the Chief of Naval Staff and the Chief of Air Staff.

Tompolo, through Adegboruwa, is contending that sections 221 and 306 of the Administration of Criminal Justice Act, 2015, which prohibits him from seeking a stay of proceedings in his trial, are infringing on his constitutional rights to fair hearing.

He is urging the court to nullify sections 221 and 306 of the ACJA and restrain the Federal Government, the EFCC and the IGP from deploying those sections of the law against him.

Adegboruwa argued that sections 221 and 306 are in conflict with Section 36 of the Constitution which guarantees his client’s right to fair hearing.

The suit followed an appeal filed by Tompolo against the dismissal of his application seeking to set aside the arrest warrant issued against him by Justice Ibrahim Buba on February 8, 2016.

Tompolo is urging the Court of Appeal to not only vacate the arrest warrant issued against him but also disqualify Justice Buba from presiding over his case.

Credit: Punch

‘If You destroy Tompolo, Many Others Like Him Will Arise’ –Niger-Delta Groups Warn FG

Three non-governmental organizations based in the Niger-Delta have advised the Federal Government to thread softly as regards the prosecution of former General Officer Commanding, GOC, of the Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta, MEND, Chief Government Ekpemupolo, better known as Tompolo.

The NGOs namely: Centre for Peace and Environmental Justice, CEPEJ, the Foundation for Human Rights and Anti-Corruption Crusade, FHRACC, and the Ijaw People Development Initiative, IPDI, in separate interviews with Sunday Tribune warned that should government succeed in destroying Tompolo, others like him will emerge.

Leaders of CEPEJ, FHRACC and IPDI, Comrades Sheriff Mulade, Alaowei Cleric and Austin Ozobo respectively spoke against the backdrop of Friday’s ruling of a Federal High Court sitting in Lagos that properties, save one, of the

embattled Tompolo be confiscated in response to his failure to honour court summons.

Comrade Mulade said the Federal Government, represented by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, should be wary of throwing the region into another round of crises in the name of going after Tompolo.

He said since it was obvious that the government was hell-bent in humiliating and breaking the Gbaramatu chief, it should be reminded that “If you destroy Tompolo, many more Tompolos will arise.”

Noting that the court order did not come as a surprise to the Ijaws, “we are, however, skeptical in the Gbaramatu kingdom why EFCC and the courts are after Tompolo as a person. It connotes a lot to us as Ijaws. The claims of the court is that there are illegal transactions. But they should follow due process while they go after Tompolo.”

The CEPEJ leader alleged that Tompolo is being persecuted because of some political elites in the Niger Delta and beyond who believe that his towering influence in the region could jeopardize their political fortunes.

According to him, “Their fear is that Tompolo is becoming too powerful to some political elites in the Niger Delta. With his influence, it will be difficult for some of them to have full support of Niger Deltans to actualise their political dreams.

“But Nigerian politicians should be more afraid of corruption and it’s go sequences than Tompolo. Tompolo is not a warlord, he is a simple man, very approachable.

“He fought for the liberation of Niger Delta. Those persecuting him should have a rethink. He brought development to the Niger Delta and any development in any region is a development in Nigeria,” he disclosed.

Mulade further stated that the former militant leader was ready to appear in court as far as it is devoid of humiliation and persecution, adding that the wanted former militant and Gbaramatu kingdom should not be perceived as confronting the Federal Government.

While commending President Muhammadu Buhari on his success so far in his anti-corruption crusade, he warned him against allowing the Niger Delta region boil again by following the rule of law in its prosecution business.

Also speaking, Comrade Ozobo expressed disappointment at the way the FG is going about prosecuting Tompolo, saying the recent seizure of his assets was an order taken too far.

“We are apprehensive and it is a total disappointment to seize his properties, it will only escalate the matter as the fragile peace in the region is being threatened.

“The order to confiscate Tompolo’s properties is ill-conceived. He has engaged the services of a lawyer to do the needful, noting that he would eventually appear in court. Nobody sees fire and jump into it.

“The order to seize his assets is barbaric, obnoxious and vindictive. It is also highly provocative and will be seen as declaration of war against the Ijaw people.

“We know Buhari is not happy with the Ijaws and some Deltans because of their roles in his election,” Ozobo stated.

On his part, Comrade Cleric, who described the seizure order as having exposed the EFCC’s plans to persecute Tompolo rather than prosecuting him, said: “It’s now clear to us that the anti-corruption agency is only prosecuting political vendetta against Tompolo. There is no law empowering the EFCC to attach another person’s property. This is a backdoor approach sought by the Commission to force the judicial pendulum against its assailants without recourse to the due process of law.

“The Court, as the last hope of the common man, ought not to have granted such unpopular application which end product is calculated to perverse the cause of justice.

“We hold in high esteem the Nigerian judicial system and it is our resolve that the judicial sanctity must always be honoured. However, we are forced to vent our anger on the Court for granting this baseless application which is not only lacking merit but also devoid of legal foundation. This is the height of judicial recklessness,” he added.

Source- Daily Post

Tompolo Heads To Appeal Court, Challenges Arrest Warrant

Former militant leader declared wanted by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission has headed to the Court of Appeal seeking to set aside the warrant of arrest issued against him.

Government Ekpemupolo (also known as Tompolo) is also asking that the charges against him be transferred to a different judge.

“Meanwhile, his team of solicitors have been instructed to expedite the process of hearing the said appeal, at the earliest possible time,” Ebun Adegboruwa, Mr. Ekpemupolo’s lawyer, said in a statement on Sunday.

“He is a law abiding citizen who is only demanding that the Federal Government should show compliance with the rule of law and due process, in the filing and prosecution of any crime that may be alleged against him.

“The relevant law enforcement agencies are being notified with the details of the appeal, so that they may be well cautioned from taking undue advantage of the criminal charge to wreck havoc upon Gbaramatu kingdom or to harass the family, relatives, friends and well wishers ?of Tompolo.

Mr. Ekpemupolo and Patrick Akpobolokemi, the former Director? General of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) are accused of a multibillion naira fraud at the agency.

Others charged alongside them are Global West Vessel Specialist Ltd, Odimiri Electrical Ltd, Kime Engozu, Boloboere Property and Estate Ltd, Rex Elem, Destre Consult Ltd, Gregory Mbonu, and Captain Warredi Enisuoh.

Credit: PremiumTimes

We Are Still Looking For Tompolo, IG Of Police Says

Inspector-General of Police, Solomon Arase, says the Nigeria Police Force is still searching for former Niger Delta Militant Leader, Government Ekpemupolo aka Tompolo who has been declared wanted by the EFCC over a N45.9b fraud in the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA).

Speaking to newsmen in Abuja yesterday February 17th, Arase said the Police commissioners in Delta, Rivers, Edo and others have been issued the warrant for his arrest

“We are still looking for Tompolo. The commissioners of police in Delta, Rivers and all those areas have been given the warrant for the arrest so that they could carry out the arrest. The EFCC has declared him wanted and you know the court has issued a warrant of arrest. So, it is the duty

EFCC Declares Tompolo Wanted

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission on Thursday declared a former Niger Delta militant leader, Government Ekpemupolo, alias 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.
The wanted Tompolo, whose address was given as No. 1, Chief Agbanu Street, DDPA Extension, Warri, Delta State, is said to speak both Izon and English languages.
The public announcement issued by Uwujaren read in part, “The general public is hereby notified that Government Ekpemupolo (a.k.a. Tompolo), whose photograph appears above, is wanted by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission in relation to the offence of conspiracy, illegal diversion of the sum of N34,000,000,000.00 and N11,900,000,000.00 belonging to the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency.”
Justice Ibrahim Buba of a Federal High Court in Lagos issued a bench warrant against Tompolo on January 14 after he shunned a summons dated January 12 issued on him by the judge to appear in connection with the fraud charges filed against him and nine others by the EFCC.
Credit: Punch

Court Issues Ultimatum For Tompolo’s Arrest

Justice Ibrahim Buba of a Federal High Court in Lagos on Monday rejected the plea to set aside the bench warrant issued on January 14 against a former Niger Delta militant leader, Government Ekpemupolo, alias Tompolo.

 

The judge, in a bench ruling, said the warrant of arrest issued against Tompolo still stood and ordered all the law enforcement agencies in the country to ensure that Tompolo was produced before him on February 19.

 

Tompolo is wanted by the court over an alleged N34bn fraud, which he allegedly perpetrated in conjunction with nine others.

 

He is to be arraigned along with his alleged accomplices on 40 counts filed against them by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission.

His alleged accomplices include the immediate-past Director General of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency, Patrick Akpobolokemi. Others are Kime Engozu, Rex Elem, Gregory Mbonu and Capt. Warredi Enisuoh.

 

The suspects were charged along with four companies, namely: Global West Vessel Specialist Limited, Odimiri Electrical Limited, Boloboere Property and Estate Limited and Destre Consult Limited.

 

The suspects were accused of diverting and converting to their personal use a sum of N34bn belonging to NIMASA.

 

The offence, according to EFCC, is contrary to Section 18 (a) of the Money Laundering (Prohibition) (Amendment) Act, 2012 and were liable to punishment under Section 15 (3) of the same Act.

 

The suspects were supposed to have been arraigned on January 14, but Tompolo had shunned a court’s summons dated January 12 to appear, leading the judge to issuing a bench warrant against him.

 

The judge had ordered that Tompolo should be produced before him on Monday.

 

But rather than come to court, Tompolo, through his lawyer, Mr. Tayo Oyetibo (SAN), brought an application urging the judge to set aside the arrest warrant issued against him.

 

While arguing the application, Oyetibo claimed that his client had not been properly served with the charge sheet and the summons.

 

He claimed that though the court granted the EFCC an order for substituted service, the anti-graft agency only pasted the charge sheet and summons at a wrong address.

 

He urged the court to rule that his client had not been served and that the bench warrant ought not to have been issued.

 

Oyetibo also argued that the Federal Government did not obtain the leave of the court to change its designation on the charge sheet from plaintiff to complainant.

 

But Justice Buba dismissed the application, noting that Oyetibo was in court because he was briefed by Tompolo, and such Tompolo could not claim that he was not aware of the charge pending against him.

 

The judge described as frivolous the argument that the Federal Government did not first seek the leave of the court before amending its status from plaintiff to complainant in the charge and urged counsel not to waste the time of the court on mere technicalities.

 

He held, “The entire gamut of this application is for the court to set aside the order granting substituted service of the charge.

“The first defendant missed the point completely. The law is that anybody like the EFCC has the power to arrest anyone if it has reasonable belief that such person has committed an offence.

“On January 12 when the application for substituted service was moved, one of the averments was that the applicant was invited by the EFCC to answer to some allegations, but up till today he has not deemed it fit to honour the invitation.

“It is very clear that the order for substituted service is more than justified against a man who has refused to honour lawful invitation by the EFCC.

“Not only is the accused aware of the charge but has further briefed counsel representing him, who on his behalf, demanded for all processes filed.

“Therefore, all the authorities cited on this issue are, with respect, misconceived. Whether served by substituted means or not, the accused is aware of the charge.

“The application challenging service is misconceived same be and is hereby dismissed.

“The order for arrest still subsists. All authorities in Nigeria are hereby further ordered to ensure that the order of this court for the arrest of Ekpemupolo a.k.a Tompolo  is carried out to the letter.”

 Credit: Punch

Why We Can’t Hand Over Tompolo To JTF, EFCC —Ijaw Elders, Youths

IJAW elders in Delta State, yesterday, said it was impracticable for them to hand over the former General Officer Commanding, GOC, of the Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta, MEND, Government Ekpemupolo, alias Tompolo, to security agencies because they neither have the power to do so nor know his (Tompolo) whereabouts currently.

They also said that they do not have any information that Tompolo was involved in the three-day bombing of crude oil and gas pipelines in the state, while many see the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC’s case against him as a form of persecution.

The Federal Government, last weekend, asked Ijaw communities to hand over suspects  involved in the bombing, alleged to be hiding in their areas, to security agencies, while the Joint Task Force, JTF, had earlier threatened to hold community leaders responsible for further acts of pipeline vandalism in their communities.

Chairman, Ijaw (Izon) Okosu –Otu (Ijaw Council of Elders), Delta State, Chief Bare Etolor, said, “It is unfair for the Federal Government to ask Ijaw communities to handover suspects that carried out the bombing because we do not know them. In addition, I do not see how anybody expects us to handover Tompolo to security agencies because we do not have the power to do that, except they want to humiliate us.”

Another Ijaw leader in Gbaramatu Kkingdom, Chief Godspower Gbenekame, who re-echoed Etolor’s position, said it was impossible for them to handover Tompolo to the government.

Some Niger Delta and Ijaw youth groups, including the Niger Delta Security Watch Organszation of Nigeria, NWSON and Ijaw People’s Development Initiative, IPDI, threw their weight behind the elders, saying that the understanding of many Ijaw people was that the government was persecuting Tompolo because he refused to join the All Progressives Congress, APC.

However, Executive Director of Centre for the Vulnerable and Underprivileged, CENTREP, Warri, Delta State, Mr. Oghenjabor Ikimi, said there was nothing wrong in the residents of the affected areas and ex-militants giving useful information to security agencies to unmask the culprits.

Fresh N22.7bn Charges: EFCC Lines Up 25 Witnesses Against Tompolo, Others

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission has filed fresh 22 charges against an ex-Niger Delta militant leader, Government Ekpemupolo, popularly known as Tompolo, and 12 others.

The charges, which were filed on Friday at a Federal High Court in Lagos, bordered on stealing, advanced fee fraud and money laundering to the tune of N22,765,900,000.

The fresh charges were filed eight days after Justice Ibrahim Buba ordered the arrest of Tompolo for his failure to appear on January 14, 2016 to take his plea on a separate 40 counts of alleged N34bn fraud earlier filed against him and nine others by the EFCC.

In the fresh charges, which had yet to be assigned to any judge, the EFCC listed 25 witnesses that
will testify against Tompolo and his 12 co-suspects when the trial begins.

Among the witnesses are seven EFCC investigators, officials of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency, officials of the Ministry of Transport, Ministry of Lands, Housing and Urban Development, and officials of the Bureau of Public Procurement.

Also to testify against the suspects are officials of four commercial banks including Access Bank, First Bank, Zenith Bank Plc and United Bank for Africa Plc.

Those to be arraigned alongside Tompolo in the fresh 22 counts is a former Director-General of NIMASA, Patrick Akpobolokemi, whose four brothers – Victor, Nobert, Emmanuel and Clement – who are still at large, were alleged to have aided the suspects to commit the fraud.

The other suspects are Kime Engozu, Josephine Otuaga, Rita Uruakpa and Pondi Kestin.

Also joined as defendants in the charges are seven companies – Mieka Dive Training Institute Ltd/GTE, Oyeinteke Global Network Ltd, Wabod Global Resources Ltd, Boloboere Properties Estate Ltd, Gokaid Marine Oil and Gas Ltd, Muhaabix Global Services Ltd and Watershed Associated Resources.

The suspects were said to have fraudulently converted various sums, running into over N22.7bn, stolen from NIMASA, to their personal use between December 12, 2014 and April 10, 2015.

They were also accused of defrauding the Federal Government by making false representations, which they knew to be untrue, in order to obtain money from the government.

The offences are said to be contrary to Section 8(a) of the Advance Fee Fraud and other Fraud Related Offences Act, 2006 and punishable under Section 1 (3)of the same Act.

The charge sheet, signed by Festus Keyamo, also indicated that the suspects violated various sections of the Money Laundering (Prohibition) (Amendment) Act, 2012 including its sections 15(3) and 18(a) and were liable to punishment under Section 15(3) of the same Act.

The suspects were also said to be liable to punishment under Section 1 (2) (c) of the Miscellaneous Offences Act, Cap. M17, Laws of the Federation, 2004.

In count two, the EFCC alleged that the suspects “between the December 2, 2014 and April 10, 2015 in Lagos, within the jurisdiction of this court, with intent to defraud, induced the Federal Government of Nigeria to deliver to you, the aggregate sum of N11, 900,000,000.00 by falsely pretending to the Federal Government of Nigeria that all that land and its appurtenances lying, being and situate at the Mieka Dive Training Institute, Kurutie, Warri South-West Local Government Area of Delta State, to be acquired by NIMASA for the temporary Campus of the Nigerian Maritime University, Okerenkoko, Warri South-West Local Government Area, is free from any encumbrances, which representation you knew to be false, and you thereby committed an offence contrary to Section (1) (b) of the Advance Fee Fraud and other Fraud Related Offences Act, 2006 and punishable under Section 1 (3)of the same Act.”

Akpobolokemi is scheduled to appear on Friday before Justice Saliu Saidu of a Federal High Court in Lagos, where he was first arraigned on December 3, 2015 alongside nine others on 30 counts of stealing and money laundering to the tune of N3.4bn.

His trial before Justice Buba, where he was arraigned along with five others on December 4, 2015 on 22 counts of alleged N2.6bn fraud, commenced last week with the EFCC calling three witnesses.

The case was adjourned till February 2, 2016.

Akpobolokemi is also scheduled to appear before Justice Buba on February 8, 2016 alongside nine others, including Tompolo, who was ordered to be arrested and produced in court on the hearing date.

Source: Punch

Tompolo Explains Why He Has Refused To Honor All Court Invitations

Former Niger Delta militancy leader, Government Ekpemupolo aka Tompolo has explained why he has refused to honor court invitations over the corruption cases leveled against him by the EFCC. In an open letter to President Buhari which he sent out through his media aide, Paul Bebenimbo, yesterday January 18th, Tompolo said;

“The truth of the matter is that I do not know anything about the N34 billion Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) is talking about. First, it was N13 billion issue, now it is N34 billion. I am not a signatory to any of the companies mentioned in the said N34 billion case, so I do not know where this one is coming from. I know that God in His infinite mercy will see me through in this critical moment.”?the letter read

He accused former governor of Bayelsa ?state, Timipre Sylva, of working against him.

“I wish to inform you that it has come to my knowledge that the leader of your party and governorship candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Bayelsa and a few young men from Warri South West council of Delta State, who joined the party from the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) after the 2015 presidential election, are bent on linking me to the renewed vandalism of oil facilities in the Niger Delta, whereas they are the ones carrying out the act to smear my name. They are doing this in connivance with the EFCC lawyer. The leader of your party in Bayelsa State approached me shortly after my meeting with you in Abuja that I should accompany him to meet you and plead for him to be appointed special adviser (SA) and chairman of the Presidential Amnesty Programme, which I refused to do because of his antecedents, as an unreliable and trustworthy person. It was thereafter he forced his way into the governorship election of the state, which almost tore the state apart with violence, beginning with the party primary in which he demonstrated a high level of desperation as was recounted by the Chairman of the committee and Governor of Edo State, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole. As for members of the party from my local government area, Warri South-West, they have been involved in illegal bunkering and oil theft activities over the years, which I have been fighting against because of my love for country. They know me as a no-nonsense person. There is this one from Gbaramatu kingdom with me that has sworn to kill me because I refused to manipulate the ascension to our traditional stool in his favour when he was not even qualified for it. And so, he looks for any opportunity to deal with me.’’the letter read.

They Want To Frame Me For Bombing Oil Facilities, Tompolo Cries Out

Niger Delta ex-Militant, Government Ekpemupolo also known as Tompolo alleged yesterday  that there is a plot by some aggrieved politicians in Bayelsa State to launch bomb attacks on oil installations and pipelines in the region with the aim of attributing such attacks to him . Tompolo said this was as a result of his open support for the re-election of Governor Seriake Dickson.

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has already secured a court order to arrest him over allegations of financial crimes in NIMASA.

According to Tompolo, in a statement issued yesterday via email, he said though the election has thrown up bad blood among indigenes of the region, loss of lives and bitterness, the anger felt by some politicians against his support for the re-election of Dickson should not be transformed to the destruction of the nation’s assets.

“Furthermore, I want to admonish those that are still aggrieved as a result of the outcome of the election not to resort to destruction of national assets, specifically, crude oil facilities and pipelines and attribute it to me because of my position on the election to desist from such acts as it will not do us good as a country, as we all need to support President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration to succeed.”

He reiterated his earlier statement that, “we cannot all be in APC” and also noted that  “our people had always believed in the Nigerian project and had always hoped to join hands with this administration to move this project forward.

“ The conditions being attached are not acceptable, therefore, I, once again, insist on believing in the Nigerian project unconditionally.”

Credit: Sun

Judge Orders Tompolo’s Arrest As He Failed To Appear In Court Today

Justice Ibrahim Buba of a federal high court sitting in Ikoyi, Lagos, has ordered the arrest of former Niger Delta militant, Government Ekpemupolo aka Tompolo for failing to honor a court summon this morning. Tompolo was summoned to appear before the court to answer to a N13 billion land acquisition deal he had with the last administration.

The EFCC is alleging that Tompolo fraudulently sold the land to the Goodluck Jonathan administration. The land is meant for the construction of the Nigerian Maritime University. Tompolo
had yesterday stated that he had not received any court order summoning him.

Court Orders The Arrest Of Tompolo

A Federal High Court sitting in Lagos has issued bench warrant against Government Ekpemupolo, also known as Tompolo for failing to appear before it to answer to a 40 count charge of alleged 13bn fraud.

The court had earlier threatened that it would order the arrest of the former commander of the Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta (MEND) if he fails to appear in court today.

Credit: SunOnline

N13bn Fraud: Tompolo Shuns Court’s Invitation

Ex-Niger Delta militant, Government Ekpemupolo, a.k.a. Tompolo, has shunned the order of a Federal High Court in Lagos to unconditionally appear today to answer a 40-count of alleged N13bn fraud levelled against him  by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission.

The order, which was granted in Charge No: FHC/L/553c/2015, was sequel to a motion ex-parte brought by the EFCC. Also affected by the order were ex-NIMASA Director-General, Mr. Patrick Ziakede Akpobolokemi, Tompolo’s company, Global West Vessel Specialist Limited, Odimixi Electricals Limited, Kime Engozu, Boloboere Property and Estate Limited, Rex Elem, Destre Consult Limited, Gregory Mbonu and Captain Warredi Enisuoh.

While all his co-accused, including a former Director-General of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency, Patrick Akpobolokemi, were present in court, only Tompolo failed to appear.

The 40-count charge include the conversion of N601, 516.13 and $1, 766, 428.62, property of NIMASA, into private concerns; conversion of NIMASA’s N27,690,113.79 and $17, 491, 378.64, as well as another N27, 690,113.79 and $17, 491, 378.64, belonging to the agency to personal use, an offence contrary to section 15 (1) of the Money Laundering (Prohibition) (Amendment) Act 2012 and punishable under section 15(3) of the same Act.

The EFCC had explained that it rearrested ex-NIMASA DG, Akpobolokemi after he was granted bail by a competent court because of fresh N34 billion fraud allegations against him.

Credit: Vanguard

Tell EFCC To Leave Tompolo Alone, Ex-militants Beg Buhari

Former Niger Delta militants, weekend, urged President Muhammadu Buhari to prevail on the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, to leave ex-militant leader, Government Ekpemupolo, alias Tompolo, alone and follow the rule of law in its dealings with him. The erstwhile agitators, who met under the auspices of the Transformed Niger Delta Ex-militants Forum, asserted that some persons, who were envious of Tompolo, wrote a petition against him to the EFCC, but advised that the commission in the discharge of its duties should respect the rule of law.

In a communiqué signed by its national president, Meshach Bebenimibo and others, they said, “We appeal to the President as a matter of urgency to instruct the EFCC to follow due process within 1999 Constitution as amended.” At the meeting held in Warri were Prince Bebenimibo, Bayelsa , Edo, Cross River, Rivers, Akwa Ibom and Ondo coordinators of the group, Peter Ayeebide, Austin Peremobowei, Korebor Minama, Anthony Youbai, Oluwah Michael and Oloye Tamarayende.

They said: “We want EFCC to leave Tompolo alone because the petitioners are acting out of jealousy to indict and incarcerate him, that is why they are lying to the whole world that Tompolo sold the land for the building of Nigerian Maritime University, NMU, Okerenkoko.”

According to the communiqué, “The petitioners know the truth and the truth is that Tompolo only sold the International Diving Institute buildings at Kurutie community and the place was sand filled before he built the school. Among the structures are lecture halls, multipurpose pavilion, administrative block, vice- chancellor’s lodge and hostels for male and female students.”

“The previous government brought valuers and did all necessary legal things and collected VAT money before paying him about 90 per cent as agreed.

“We also urge EFCC to have a rethink and defreeze Mieka and GlobalWest accounts.” The group, however, commended President Buhari for his interest in the region, particularly the inclusion of fund for the Amnesty programme in the 2016 Budget presented to the National Assembly, saying, “We really appreciate your kind gesture.”

Credit: Vanguard

EFCC Invites Tompolo

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has given former Niger Delta militant leader, Mr Government Ekpemupolo a.k.a Tompolo one week to appear before the Commission on Awolowo Road, Ikoyi, Lagos or risk being declared wanted.

In a letter from the EFCC, the Commission says it is investigating Tompolo for unclear dealings involving the sale of parcels of land worth about 13 billion naira to the federal government under the last administration.

He is expected to appear at the EFCC training room on Thursday, December 17.

A similar invitation was extended to Tompolo in November by the Head of Operations at the EFCC, Iliasu Kwabai but he failed to appear and no correspondence was received from him.

Credit: ChannelsTV

Tompolo’s Contract Remains Intact – New NIMASA Boss

NIMASA has rubbished reports that the federal government has broken off its relationship with Tompolo’s company which is in charge of pipeline security in parts of the country.

Isichie Osangbi, Deputy Director of Public relations for the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) denied receiving any directive from the presidency to discontinue payment to Global West Vessel Specialists Nigeria Limited (GWVSNL) for the provision of platforms for security of the nation’s waterways, which is owned by the ex-militant leader.

“NIMASA is a government agency and would always implement government policy or reform in the maritime sector and not to be seen doing the opposite. Also, as a government agency, NIMASA ought
to be in the know if there was any such directive or change in policy, since the alleged directive, according to those peddling the rumour, was meant for the agency to put an end to all payments to Global West Vessel.

“I tell you with due sense of responsibility that there is no such directive. If there is, nothing would have stopped NIMASA from informing members of the public or issuing statement to that effect,” he said.

“We are aware of our core mandate and we will do everything to enforce the federal government law as it affects the maritime sector. No rumor or falsehood will distract us,” he said.

The maritime security contract was approved by former President Goodluck Jonathan and awarded by NIMASA in 2011.

Freezing of Tompolo’s accounts barbaric, unlawful, Ijaw group tells FG

Ijaw People Development Initiative, IPDI, a nongovernmental organization in Delta State, on Tuesday criticized the freezing of accounts of two companies allegedly owned by ex-Niger militant leader, Chief Government Ekpemupolo, alias Tompolo, by the President Muhammadu Buhari administration as an act of lawlessness.

 

IPDI in a statement by the national president, Mr. Austin Ozobo, contended that the federal government duly awarded contracts to the companies and Tompolo neither breached the contracts nor abandoned them to warrant freezing of the accounts.

 

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, reportedly froze the accounts of Mieka Divers Limited and Global West Vessels Limited, purportedly linked with fraudulent activity in the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency, NIMASA, under its ex-director general, Dr. Patrick Akpobolokemi.

 

The group, however, stated, “The freezing of Tompolo’s accounts by the federal government is barbaric, unlawful and obnoxious because Tompolo is not under any investigation. As a matter of fact, Tompolo is not under any investigation; therefore, there is no reason for his accounts to be frozen.”

 

“Tompolo was just a contractor and the said contracts are ongoing, there was no case of abandonment of the said contracts. The contracts were legally awarded, there was no case of breach, the point is that Buhari should have respect for the law, he should maintain decorum,” it added.

IPDI said, “What is within the purview of the law is either execution or revocation of the contract and not freezing of the contractor’s account. Even in the case of contravention, the contractor has nothing to answer, except the institution that awarded the contract, what Buhari is doing is a witch hunt and declaration of war against the Niger-Delta people.”

 

-Vanguard

Tompolo Hails Buhari, Calls Him A Listening Leader

Chief Government Ekpemupolo, alias Tompolo, frontline ex-Movement for the Emancipation of Niger Delta, MEND leaders, the Ijaw Youth Council, IYC, Niger Delta ex-militants and other stakeholders in the Niger Delta, yesterday, hailed President Muhammudu Buhari over the appointment of Brigadier Gen Paul Boroh (rtd) as the Coordinator of the Presidential Amnesty Programme.

Niger Delta ex-militants, who congratulated the newly appointed chairman of the Niger Delta Amnesty programme, said that Buhari had made a wise and deserved choice from the Niger Delta.

Boroh, who arrived the PAP office in Maitama, early in the day, said that he will move quickly to sort out the issue of Amnesty beneficiaries, who are currently out of school abroad as a result of the non-payment of their fees.

He said he will do all within his power to consolidate on the gains of the programme and aid the efforts by Buhari to consolidate peace, safety and security in the Niger Delta.

He said: “Mr President is keen on the smooth and efficient running of the Amnesty Programme. He also wants things done properly. I am going to quickly look into the issue of beneficiaries, who are currently out of schools or training centres as a result of default in payment of fees and allowances. We are going to sort out these issues very fast and stabilize the Programme.”

Similarly, ex-militants and other stakeholders in the Niger Delta have described Boroh’s appointment as apt and responsive, noting it will help solve the concern raised by the people of the Niger Delta over the hitches in the amnesty programme and payment of outstanding allowances and scholarship of the beneficiaries studying at home and abroad.

For Tompolo, “This action shows that the President is a listening leader, and also demonstrates his desire to contribute to the development of the Niger Delta.

“It could be recalled that I called a meeting of ex-agitators’ leaders and other stakeholders in the Niger Delta last week, as a result of the pressure on me to intervene in the seemingly troubled Amnesty Programme due to the non payment of the stipend and allowances to beneficiaries for months now.

“And so, it gives me joy for the President to appoint a high ranking retired military gentleman to coordinate the programme rather than any of the political jobbers, who had advertised themselves in very negative forms in order to be appointed.

“ I want to use this medium to admonish Gen. Boroh to carry out his duty effectively and always consult stakeholders so as to succeed in this assignment,” he added.

Read More: vanguardngr

I Was Under Pressure To Convene Meeting – Tompolo

LEADER of the defunct Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger-Delta, MEND, High Chief Government Ekpemupolo, aka Tompolo, explained, Friday, that he summoned Saturday’s meeting the of the militant group in Yenagoa, Bayelsa State, because of the overpowering pressure mounted on him and other MEND leaders by ex-agitators and other beneficiaries of the Amnesty Programme.

Tompolo confirmed there was apprehension in Ijaw land over the continued delay by the Federal Government in paying monthly stipends to the beneficiaries, adding that whilst some of them, leaders, understood the reason for the noticeable delay apparently caused by the scrutiny of government agencies, including the Amnesty Office, majority of the beneficiaries did not see it in that light.

His words, “While a few see the delay in the payment of their monthly stipends in the light of the need for the current government to settle in properly, others see the delay as a template to stop the programme. The expulsion of some students (home and overseas) by their schools and training institutions particularly has heightened these fears.”

The ex-militant leader, who is the Ibe-Ebidouwei of Izon nation is, however, flabbergasted that a section of the media mischievously linked the meeting to the stoppage of the his pipeline surveillance contract, even though payment had not been made for the services rendered in the renewed contract, or termination of appointments.

Describing is it as highly provocative and despicable; he said he was considering calling off the meeting, if anything, to show that he had no bad intention and would want Niger Delta to remain peaceful under the President Muhammadu Buhari government.

Vanguard gathered that leaders across the region had called Tompolo, yesterday, advising him to cancel the meeting, as the intention was likely to be misconstrued.

However, the group of MEND, which refused to disband after Tompolo and others disbanded the militant group in 2009, yesterday, in a statement by Jomo Gbomo, distanced itself from the meeting.

Source – vanguardngr.com

What Tompolo, MEND Leaders Will Discuss As They Regroup In Bayelsa

LEADER of the defunct Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger-Delta, MEND and High Chief Government Ekpemupolo, aka Tompolo, yesterday, summoned commanders and leaders of the various wings of the militant group to an emergency meeting, tomorrow in Yenagoa, Bayelsa State.

He did not state agenda of the meeting, but Tompolo, who is the Ibe-Ebidouwei of Ijaw nation, in the invitation, said the meeting, which will hold at Izon House, Yenagoa, was important.

His words, “My dearly beloved Commanders and Leaders of various wings of the Movement of the Emancipation of the Niger Delta, MEND, I greet you all. It is my pleasure to humbly invite you to a very crucial and urgent meeting.”

A source told Vanguard, “The place of the Niger Delta in the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari and appraisal of the former President Goodluck Jonathan government in view of the current happenings in the country will be tabled for discussion at the meeting. The meeting is restricted only to those invited, it is not an all comers meeting, we will make our position known after the meeting.”

...Militants

Tompolo and other ex-militant leaders officially disbanded MEND after they accepted amnesty offered them by the administration of former President Umaru Yar’Adua in 2009.
But, a faction of MEND, which did not accept amnesty continued to operate the militant group and stated their disapproval of Jonathan government, but it was obvious that the moving forces behind the group had abandoned it.

Tomorrow’s meeting is the first time all the former commanders and leaders of the militant group are meeting formally since it was disbanded in 2009.

Source – Vanguard

Tompolo Denies Receiving N1.5bn Monthly

Government Ekpomupolo, also known as ‘Tompolo’ has denied allegations made against him by the pioneer chairman of Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) Alhaji Tijani Ramalan, that he was paid N1.5billion monthly for the protection of the nation’s maritime domain.

Speaking through his spokesperson, Comrade Paul Bebenimibo,Tompolo said Ramalan is merely seeking desperate attention in the hope of getting a job.

The statement reads in part: “My attention has been drawn to a publication in the Leadership newspaper of Wednesday June 3, 2015. In the said publication, one

Ahmed Tijani Ramalan made very wild, unsubstantiated allegations against my person that the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety

Agency (NIMASA) pays me the sum of N1.5 billion monthly for the protection of the nation’s maritime domain.

“Without any further stress, it is obvious that the said Ramalan is merely seeking an undue attention. And whatever that attention is,

“I make bold to say Ramalan who claims to be the pioneer chairman of NIMASA is not just economical with the truth but his outburst is an exhibition of ignorance and mischief which should be ignored by all.”

He added that he is not on the board of Global West. “Ramalan’s contraption of any sum being paid to me is therefore rubbish, malicious, unsubstantiated and display of ignorance. I can only pity such a man whose intention is perhaps to rubbish my name and needlessly drag me into the fray of disputes at a time the new government of President Muhammadu Buhari is barely one week in office.”

Calling on President Mohammadu Buhari to ignore the allegations against him, Tompolo, added that the intention of Ramalan is to generally misled and probably position himself for a comeback to NIMASA.

Stop The Oil Surveillance Deal Given To Tompolo – Ex-Militants

Some ex-Niger Delta militants have called on President Muhammadu Buhari to review the multi-million dollar oil pipeline security contract awarded to ex-militant leader, Government Ekpemukpolo, alias Tompolo and other ex-militants like Asari Dokubo by the Goodluck Jonathan administration.

Coming under the aegis of The National Coalition of Niger Delta Ex-agitators led by its national president, Israel Akpodoro, they made the call in a press conference held in Abuja.

In 2012, the Jonathan signed a $103 million deal with Global West Vessel Specialist Agency Ltd, a firm that is linked to Tompolo. The deal was to patrol Nigeria’s waterways to stop piracy and oil theft even when the Nigerian Navy is denied adequate funding.

Addressing newsmen on behalf of the ex-militants, Akpodoro also called on Buhari to review the Niger Delta amnesty programme, citing “fraud” and “selective treatment” in the federal government rehabilitation programme.

Buhari has promised to cancel all illegal contracts that is not in the interest of Nigeria and Nigerians.

NIMASA Pays Tompolo N1.5bn Monthly- Ex-Chairman

The pioneer chairman of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), Dr Ahmed Tijani Ramalan, has disclosed that the agency pays the sum of N1.5bn monthly to the ex-militant leader of the Movement for the Emancipation of Niger Delta (MEND), Mr. Government Ekpemupolo, alias Tompolo, to protect the nation’s maritime areas.

Dr Ramalan, however, lamented that despite such gesture, the country still loses over 400,000 barrels of crude oil daily from the nation’s shores.

The former NIMASA chairman, who revealed this to LEADERSHIP in an interview in Kaduna, called on President Muhammadu Buhari to cancel the contract given to the ex-militant by the administration of former President Goodluck Jonathan.

He said, “Over 400, 000 barrels of crude oil are being stolen daily from our shores under President Jonathan; yet we had a government that has the Navy, the Army and the Air Force, and the government of Jonathan decides to hand over the security of our maritime waters to Tompolo at a very exorbitant amount of money.

“And these same people that are given the job of our maritime security are the ones that are collaborating with the international shipping companies to steal our oil.”

According to him, one of the ways to help the country’s economy to bounce back is to revoke Tompolo’s contract.

“And if Buhari does not do so, we will be the first to start attacking him. There is no basis to give that kind of billion naira job to ex-militants,” he declared.

Making further clarification on how long the payment has been going on, Ramalan said it started “sometime after 2011 when Jonathan won his election and since then the payment has been on.

“I was the pioneer chairman of NIMASA, and NIMASA is the one funding the contract given to Tompolo. This is a guy that is collecting about N1.5bn every month and yet our Armed Forces are not well funded. So, we call on the president to discard such contract.”

He further stated that Buhari’s strong character and honesty would help him to lead country well.

“We supported President Buhari’s presidency because we believe that the country needs a strong leadership. The insecurity and economic problem that we are having in the country today is because of lack of a strong and quality leadership,” he said.

“We believe the country needs a leader that is not corrupt, because the issue of corruption in the country has led the country to its knees.

“The country would have gone down if the administration of Jonathan was allowed to continue. For us, we believe that having a new leader is what the country needs because of the massive corruption. We believe in President Buhari; we believe there is hope in having him as the president.”

He also expressed confidence in Buhari’s ability to solve the problem of insecurity in the country.

Creditleadership

Pipeline Surveillance: Buhari To Revoke Jonathan’s Contracts To OPC, Ex-Militants

Anyone who thinks that the administration of the incoming president, General Mohammadu Buhari would tolerate the surveillance of oil pipelines and waterways by private individuals or groups should better think again as there are now plans to discard the practice and revert to the use of conventional security agencies.

Saturday Vanguard’s investigations during the week indicated that already some highly placed persons in Buhari’s camp with military and security backgrounds have begun to fashion out ways that would facilitate the process.

 President-elect Muhammadu Buhari (L) waves in Abuja on April 1, 2015. Nigeria's new president-elect Muhammadu Buhari hailed polls that will lead to the first democratic change of power in Africa's most populous nation as

It was gathered that the man behind the process was a Director in the All Progressives Congress, APC, Presidential Campaign Organisation.

His briefs included to liaise with experts in the sector and other people with rich legal background to work out the template for the new surveillance policy.

When this is completed, the incoming administration, we gathered, would further equip the Nigerian Armed Forces, especially the Army and Navy, as well as the police and the Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps, NSCDC and hand them over the job of protecting the oil pipelines and other installations both onshore and offshore.

The implication of this however, is that Buhari’s government would stop the contract with some former Niger-Delta militants or groups like the Odua People’s Congress, OPC in the South-west region which the Jonathan administration had awarded such contracts.

The contracts to ex-militants to police Nigeria’s waterways runs into billions of naira, the money, experts say should have been invested in the Navy to perform the role.

*Tompolo

In the build up to the last general elections in the country, the media was awash with reports that the outgoing president, Dr. Goodluck Jonathan awarded a surveillance contract estimated at about N9 billion to the OPC. OPC leader, Gani Adams severally thanked President Jonathan for the contract.

Buhari had Wednesday, during his meeting with Rivers State chieftains of APC in Abuja warned that his government will not tolerate”an army within the army or a police within the police” in the country.

He had also, at a forum in Abuja, told Nigerians that he would upon assumption of office reopen the books of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC for proper auditing in a bid to ensure transparency in the oil sector of the economy.

Speaking in exclusive interview with Vanguard, a member of the Board of Trustees of APC, Chief Sam Nkire said that Buhari would have to tinker with the contracts if they were not properly awarded.

According to Nkire, the outgoing government of the People’s Democratic Party, PDP, had a lot of underhand deals with some groups.

“Well, once a government has been swept away, it ceases to exist. The new government takes charge and whatever it decides to do, becomes the law. If the government or presidency of Buhari thinks those contracts were not properly given out or were not given to qualified people, of course, the government will cancel those contracts.

“And from what I know of the incoming president, he will not waste a day to cancel those contracts because these are the reasons why Nigerians rejected the PDP government. Because, they did things that should not be done. They did things without recourse to the law.

“They did things with impunity and knowing Buhari as a man who abhors impunity; a man we can say is one of the incorruptible persons, I will be surprised if he does not revoke contracts that were wrongly awarded if he sees them”, Nkire said.

Other areas the incoming Buhari’s regime would look into according to Saturday Vanguard’s investigations include the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency, NIMASA, an agency responsible for the regulation of the activities of Nigerian shipping, maritime, labour and coastal waters and the Federal Inland Revenue Service, FIRS.

Gani Adams

Sources who spoke to Saturday Vanguard said that the two agencies stink with corruption and financial improprieties.

“ Two other agencies Buhari must look into are NIMASA and FIRS. Stories of corruption in those organizations cannot be ignored. For the incoming president to be taken seriously in his pledge to fight and win the war against corruption, he must sanitize these places. They stink,” a reliable APC source added.

Amnesty An Act Of Laziness And Enrichment By Ajise Tega

When the present generation work for the future generation, both the present and the future generation is secured. When the present generation steals, or believes in earning their daily bread for no tangible work done, both the present and the future generation becomes lazy, redundant and unproductive. An unproductive nation is a danger first to itself and then to other nations.
For the incoming APC administration that has promised job creation as a priority, Job creation would not be complete without the right concept of dignity of labour. To prove a better alternative as they have so bragged about, they must do things differently in the area of job creation. It is no news that Nigerians are growing lazy in fending for themselves; the causative reasons cannot be mentioned without government being the major culprit. Everyone wants easy access to money for doing frivolous jobs like their counterpart contractors.
Most jobs the GEJ led administration claimed to have created are unsustainable. It would not be excused for its inability to pay workers salary leading to the country borrowing to meet up with its responsibility. It would have been better if GEJ classed these jobs as welfare packages. This would give a clear picture of the problem at hand rather than live in self deceit that millions of jobs were created that can never be found.
It is appalling to see every youth and community fighting for oil pipeline protection contract, one thing is obvious this same people are the vandals of these pipelines. All they are doing is telling the FG to give them money or they will destroy our common source of national livelihood. Like the continuous theft of 400,000 barrels per day with the money been paid to stop it. One can conclude that giving out such contracts is not a guarantee that the pipelines won’t be vandalized. It is a lazy call, a lazy way to fend for our daily bread that would take the country backwards. Most of these pipeline vandals has aligned themselves as militants or affiliated to an existing group that was granted a costly amnesty.
There have been calls for Buhari to continue the amnesty program. An overview of the amnesty program, which the main beneficiaries are using groups to sound the call for continuum. The main benefactors are the high ranking militant bosses or the amnesty contractor or consultants as call them(selves), who gets the large chunk of money and become overnight multi millionaires and billionaire. then use whatsoever they like in the name of training. If amnesty program makes this possible then it is as unfair as the same reasons that lead to agitations that brought about it.
As a southerner I have always asked my people who say a certain part of the country enjoy our oil wealth to the detriment of the producing region, though I don’t dispute their facts, the one question I ask is what have we as southerners come together to make of our oil wealth for the now not to talk of the future? The most effective which is a good job with the oil company is made possible by the oil companies. The answers I get have always been nothing. The said NDDC if properly probed a lot will be shocked that it’s more of a waste pipe. By the time our oil is finished the things that can point to the region as once oil producing is the stark environmental pollution and degradation caused by exploration and the few who can keep their oil gotten wealth.
I would like the incoming administration to ask every amnesty consultant/contractor to present a visionary plan they have for the Niger delta region, aside a vision of their contractual monetary gains I would say nothing. There is a time for everything, Amnesty came, like every sector of the economy it was exploited, it is high time it is scrapped for the sake of the Niger delta people who are beginning to see the oil in the region as a justified reason why they must have access to government funds in whatever guise for doing nothing thereby making a lot redundant. rather such funds should be geared towards job creation. It may take time, such wait can be frustrating. Putting the future generation in perspective if properly done we would always be glad.
May God Help Us.

Views expressed are solely that of author and does not represent views of www.omojuwa.com nor its associates

Shehu Sani Urges Buhari To End Amnesty Program For Ex-Militants

The Senator-elect for Kaduna Central, Mr Shehu Sani, has called on the President-elect, General Muhammadu Buhari, to scrap the ongoing amnesty programme for ex-militants when sworn into office.

The programme was initiated by the late President Umaru Yar’Adua for ex-militants in the Niger Delta.

Speaking during a courtesy call to Arewa House in Kaduna on Tuesday, Sani described the entire amnesty programme as a sham and urged the incoming President to probe the operations of the Amnesty programme.According to him, the amnesty programme ought to be a temporary gesture and not a permanent thing which, he said, some persons have turned into a conduit pipe to drain the nation’s wealth.

The senator-elect wondered why the amnesty programme should be continuous and only meant for youths from a particular ethnic nationality while their counterparts from other regions are left out.

The senator-elect also accused President Jonathan’s administration of skewing development to the South-South alone while neglecting the North and South-West regions.

On the back of this, he called on General Buhari not to repeat “the mistake” of the outgoing government, but to ensure he carries all parts of the country along in his government.

Niger Delta Militants, Others Demand Oil Bloc From Buhari

Some community and militant groups in Delta State have warned that they will not accept the exclusion of the Niger Delta people in the allocation of oil blocks in Nigeria.

A source close to one of the interest groups told Punch that with the failure of President Goodluck Jonathan to secure the support of northerners and south-westerners in the March 28 presidential election, the people of the region now want to take a stand on how they want the oil blocks allocated.

The source said several meetings had been held and more meetings would still hold to arrive at a common position, as renewal of the oil block licences will become due soon.

He said, “You can see how they voted during the election. Every ethnic group voted for their own. But they want to come back to the Niger Delta to take away our resources without even recognising that we should be involved in the allocations.

“Let them come. We are waiting for them.”

The source also said the recent series of destruction of oil pipelines and formations in the Niger Delta area was just a warning signal to the authorities that the people would not be ready to take it lightly anymore.

“You can see that most of the oil block licences come from the North and other parts of the country. But when it came to voting, they mobilised their people against our son,” he added.

Meanwhile, the Police in Delta have yet to find a clue to the explosions that rocked the Ekiugbo-Ighrenene-Afiesere oil pipeline.

Urhobo Gbagbako had claimed responsibility for the Friday bombing of the NPDC oil pipeline at Ighrenene community between Afiesere and Ekiugbo, and the shutting down of all the oil fields in Urhobo and Isoko nations.

The group’s spokesman, Priest Omodjuvwu, said the bombing was to protest the neglect of the ex-militants of Urhobo extraction in the award of pipeline surveillance contracts by the Federal Government.

Jonathan is not Ijaw President – PDP warns Tompolo, Asari

The Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, has warned some ex-militants to note that President Goodluck Jonathan is not for the Ijaw nation alone but for the entire country.

The militants have been threatening rain and fire if President Goodluck Jonathan loses the February 14 presidential election.

However, the national Publicity Secretary of the party, Chief Olisa Metuh, in an interview with selected group of journalists in Abuja on Friday, said, “We are not in agreement with their statements and we are cautioning them to mind what they say.

Read More: dailypost.ng

Tompolo, Ex-MEND Commanders Hold Secret Meeting in Asaba

Ex- militant leader, Chief Government Ekpemupolo, alias Tompolo, held a meeting in Asaba, Delta State, with former top commanders of the defunct Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta, MEND, from Bayelsa, Delta and Rivers states.

A dependable source, said: “The meeting was convened by Tompolo to deliberate with his former colleagues on next month’s presidential election as it affects President Goodluck Jonathan, who is an Ijaw indigene.

“They also reviewed the support of the nonoperational MEND for the All Progressives Congress, APC, presidential candidate, Gen. Muhammadu Buhari (retd), and agreed on ways to mobilise ex-agitators in the region for the PDP presidential candidate.”

The ex-MEND commanders reportedly left Asaba after the meeting for their respective states.

Credit: Vanguard Nigeria

Tompolo, Ex-MEND Commanders Hold Secret Meeting In Asaba

EX-MILITANT leader, Chief Government Ekpemupolo, alias Tompolo, held a meeting, yesterday, in Asaba, Delta State, with former top commanders of the defunct Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta, MEND, from Bayelsa, Delta and Rivers states.

*Tompolo

A dependable source, said: “The meeting was convened by Tompolo to deliberate with his former colleagues on next month’s presidential election as it affects President Goodluck Jonathan, who is an Ijaw indigene.

“They also reviewed the support of the nonoperational MEND for the All Progressives Congress, APC, presidential candidate, Gen. Muhammadu Buhari (retd), and agreed on ways to mobilise ex-agitators in the region for the PDP presidential candidate.”

The ex-MEND commanders reportedly left Asaba after the meeting for their respective states.

The source added “It is a top-secret meeting. I cannot tell you more than that. I am even surprised how you got to know about the meeting.”

Tompolo’s Alleged Gunboats Belong To NIMASA -Nigerian Navy

THE Nigerian Navy has said that the seven gunboats alleged to have been bought by an ex-Niger Delta militant leader, Chief Government Ekpemupolo, aka Tompolo, indeed belonged to the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency.

The Chief of Training and Operations of the NN, Rear Admiral Austin Oyagha, at a press briefing in Abuja on Wednesday said reports that Tompolo had acquired warships was untrue.

He explained that the said gunboats belonged to the NIMASA and that they were being manned by personnel of the Nigerian Navy from the maritime component of the service, in consonance with a pact between the agency and the Navy.

Oyagha said, “I want to state categorically that no individual has acquired gun boats in this country. The gunboats being alluded to actually belong to NIMASA and these boats are currently being manned by personnel of the Nigerian Navy.

“And as you are all aware, Nigerian Navy has collaboration with NIMASA, to which we have a maritime component attached in support of the statutory responsibility in ensuring the safety of our harbour approaches to our anchorage.”

He also dismissed claims that the gunboats had Tompolo written on them, saying no such boat was operating in Nigeria’s territorial waters.

Source – Punch Ng