Prosecutor’s Absence Stalls Trial Of Former Militant Leader, Tompolo

TompoloThe absence of the federal government prosecutor, Mr Festus Keyamo at the Federal High Court, Lagos on Thursday stalled the scheduled trial of former Niger Delta militant leader, Government Ekpemupolo, popularly known as Tompolo.

Tompolo is facing a 22-count charge of alleged fraud of N47.6bn.

He was arraigned in absentia by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) on April 18, 2016 alongside six brothers of a former Director-General of the Nigerian Maritime and Safety Agency, Patrick Akpobolokemi.

All seven of them were declared as being “at large” when the charges were read before Justice Ibrahim Buba.

But Akpobolokemi and three others who were also listed as defendants in the amended charge, were present in court to answer to the charges.

The charges border on conspiracy, advance fee fraud and money laundering. But the defendants who were in court pleaded not guilty to all of them.

At the proceedings on Thursday, the court said that the prosecutor, Mr Keyamo wrote to ask for an adjournment on the grounds that his main witness was not available.

The trial judge, Justice Ibrahim Buba, consequently adjourned the case till December 13 and 14, 2016 for trial.

One of the defence counsels, has however filed a preliminary objection to challenge the competence of the charges.

He asked the court to strike out the entire 22 counts filed by the EFCC against his client.

Another defence counsel also informed the court of his client’s pending bail application.

Justice Buba adjourned till November 10, 2016 to take the two pending applications.

Tompolo vs. FG: Court Fixes Ruling For Dec. 12

TompoloThe Federal High Court sitting in Lagos, on Tuesday, fixed December 12, 2016 to rule on whether or not to transfer to the Court of Appeal, a suit filed against the federal government by former militant leader, Government Ekpemupolo, popularly known as Tompolo.

Justice Mojisola Olatoregun fixed the date after hearing arguments from parties involved in the matter.

Tompolo, who is wanted by the EFCC over alleged fraud worth 49.5 billion naira, sued the federal government through his lawyer, Mr Ebunolu Adegboruwa.

He is seeking an order restraining the federal government and its agencies from further proceeding with the fraud charges.

The defendants in the suit are the federal government of Nigeria, the EFCC, the Inspector-General of Police, the Chief of Army Staff, the Chief of Naval Staff and the Chief of Air Staff.

The Federal Government had in May 2016 asked the court to dismiss with cost the suit filed by the former Niger Delta militant leader.

The government said that the suit is an abuse of court process, frivolous, time wasting, grossly misleading and erroneous in its totality.

Fundamental Rights Enforcement: FG Asks Court To Dismiss Tompolo’s Suit

Ondo PDPThe Federal Government has asked a Federal High Court sitting in Lagos to dismiss with cost a suit filed by the former Niger Delta militant leader, Government Ekpemulopo, popularly known as Tompolo.

In the suit, Tompolo through his counsel, Ebunoluwa Adegboruwa is seeking to nullify Sections 221 and 306 of the Administration of Criminal Justice Act, 2015.

But the government says the suit is an abuse of court process, frivolous, time wasting, grossly misleading and erroneous in its totality.

Tompolo, had in the fundamental rights enforcement suit urged the court to nullify the sections under which he was charged before the court on the grounds that the sections are invalid and unconstitutional because they violate his constitutional rights to fair hearing.

The ex-militant also argued that the sections are unconstitutional so far as they seek to prevent the court from exercising its jurisdiction to entertain any objection to a criminal charge and application for a stay of proceedings pending appeal.