The Federal High Court sitting in Lagos has summoned former Niger Delta militant, Government Ekpemupolo, popularly known as Tompolo to appear before it.
Justice Ibrahim Buba asked Tompolo to appear before him on Thursday, January 14, to answer to a 40-count charge of unlawful conversion brought against him by the EFCC.
He also granted leave to EFCC to serve Tompolo the summons and the charges through substituted means by “affixing same on the conspicuous part of his last known address situated at 1, Chief Agbanu DDPA Extension Warri, Delta State”.
The judge issued the summons following an application filed by the EFCC through its lawyer, Rotimi Oyedipo, who alleged that they have not been able to serve Tompolo with a copy of the charge.
The commission also informed the court that Tompolo had so far, refused to honour several invitations extended to him for questioning.
The anti-graft agency had in December 2015 filed a case against Tompolo, a former boss of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), Patrick Akpobolokemi and eight others for allegedly converting to personal use, the sums of $108.7 million and 2.1 billion Naira belonging to NIMASA.
Other accused persons were: Global West Vessel Specialist Limited, Odimiri Electricals Limited, Kime Engozu, Boloboere Property and Estate Ltd, Rex Elem, Destre Consult Ltd, Gregory Mbonu and Captain Warredi Enisuoh.
The suit was filed on behalf of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) by its prosecutor, Festus Keyamo.
In 16 of the counts, the agency alleged that Ekpemupolo, Akpobolokemi, Global West Vessel Specialist Ltd, Odimiri Electrical Ltd, Boloboere Property Estate, Kime Engozu, and Simon John Adomene, who is currently at large, conspired among themselves between 2012 and 2014 to commit the offence, knowing that the two sums of money were proceeds of stealing.
In counts 17-38 of the criminal charges, Rex Elem, Gregory Mbonu, and Destre Consult Ltd were alleged to have converted the sum of 106.8 million Naira, the property of Global West Vessel Specialist Ltd, despite knowing that the sum was derived from official corruption.
In counts 39 and 40, the EFCC alleged that Captain Warredi Enisuoh converted the sum of eight million Naira, property of Global West Vessel Specialist, knowing that the money was derived from official corruption.
According to the EFCC, the offences alleged to have been committed by the accused persons were contrary to and punishable under the Money Laundering Act of 2012.
Akpolobokemi is currently facing two different charges of stealing and conversion of money running into billions of Naira before the same court.
Akpobolokemi and nine others were first arraigned before Justice Saliu Saidu on December 3, 2015 on a 30-count charge of conspiracy, criminal conversion and laundering the sum of 3.1 billion Naira.
The EFCC claimed that the accused persons allegedly conspired among themselves to convert and launder the sum under the guise of providing security intelligence around the maritime domain.
On December 4, 2015, the anti-graft agency also arraigned the form NIMASA DG and five others before Justice Buba on a 22-count charge of stealing the sum of 2.5 billion Naira.
Akpolobokemi and other accused persons have, however, pleaded not guilty to the charge.