EFCC Separates Tompolo From Charges

EFCC Separates Tompolo From ChargesThe EFCC has separated former Niger Delta Militant, Government Ekpemupolo, popularly known as Tompolo from a 40-count charge of alleged fraud and money laundering.

The anti-graft agency was forced to separate Tompolo from the charges it filed at the Federal High Court in Lagos after it declared that the former Niger Delta Militant was still on the run.

Tompolo was listed as the first accused person in the said charge which the EFCC filed in January before Justice Ibrahim Buba.

The former Director General of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency, Patrick Akpobolokemi and four other persons were also listed in the charge as co-accused persons.

The five were charged alongside four companies – Global West Vessel Specialist Limited, Odimiri Electrical Limited, Boloboere Property and Estate Limited and Destre Consult Limited.

However, efforts to arraign them had failed since January owing to the refusal of Tompolo to honour the court summons issued on him to appear in court.

At Tuesday’s proceedings, Tompolo was again absent in court as his lawyers, Mr Tayo Oyetibo and Ebun-Olu Adegboruwa were also absent.

The EFCC prosecutor, Mr Festus Keyamo, told the presiding judge that the charge against the accused persons had been amended with Tompolo’s name removed.

He said Tompolo would be arraigned and tried separately from the others as soon as he was apprehended by the security agencies.

With the permission of the court, the other accused persons took their plea on the 40 counts levelled against them by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).

The charges bordered on conspiracy, fraudulent conversion and laundering of various sums of money belonging to NIMASA.

They all pleaded not guilty.

Justice Buba later admitted them to bail before adjourning the commencement of their trial till May 23.

Meanwhile, the judge also adjourned till April 18, for the EFCC to arraign Mr Akpobolokemi and others on another 22-count charge.

Tompolo had also been listed as the first accused person in the charge, but his name was removed following his failure to show up to answer to the charges.

The EFCC said he would also be arranged separately on the 22 counts whenever he is produced before the court.

Earlier, Justice Buba had on January 14, issued a warrant for his arrest and the said warrant was renewed on February 8.

The EFCC had also declared Tompolo wanted through a newspaper advertorial and it had also obtained a court order to seize Tompolo’s assets pending when he would submit himself for trial.

Lamorde’s Questioning: Keyamo Sues Nigerian Senate

Keyamo Writes Senate, Serves Court ProcessesThe Bailiff of the Federal High Court in Abuja has served the Nigerian Senate with court processes filed by Mr Festus Keyamo.

Mr Keyamo, who is a lawyer to the immediate past Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Mr Ibrahim Lamorde, is challenging the Senate and its committee on Ethics, Privileges and Public Petitions on their competence to question his client’s activities while in office.

A statement signed by a private secretary to Mr Keyamo revealed that a letter had also been sent to the Chairman of the Senate committee.

No date has been fixed for the hearing of the suit.

The former EFCC boss had challenged the powers of the Senate and its committee to invite him to appear before them.

In an originating summons filed by Mr Keyamo, Lamorde is asking the court to determine whether the Senate can invite the former EFCC boss to appear before them, as a person whose conduct of affairs is being investigated by them in relation to issues concerning the office he vacated.

Keyamo Demands Tompolo’s Arrest, Petitions DSS, IGP

KeyamoHuman rights lawyer, Mr Festus Keyamo, is demanding the arrest of Mr Government Ekpemupolo a.k.a Tompolo.

In a petition addressed to the Director of State Security Service (DSS) and the Inspector-General Of Police, he advised the agencies to effect the arrest of Tompolo within 72 hours or be prepared for court action.

A copy of the petition was also sent to the President, Dr Goodluck Jonathan.

Mr Keyamo said that he had received briefs from the family members and friends of seven out of the 14 journalists who were kidnapped by boys loyal to the former warlord and would go to court if justice is not served in the abduction case.

Channels Television 2-man crew of Olu Phillips and Paulinus Odedeyi, were among those abducted but freed after seven hours.

Part of Keyamo’s petition reads:

The facts are that the aforementioned boys (hereinafter referred to as “the seven victims”), together with some journalists from different media houses went to Ogidingben in Delta State on Sunday, November 16, 2014, to get first-hand coverage of the crises leading to the cancellation of the commissioning of the EPZ Project by President Jonathan two days earlier. Recall that I raised an alarm last week about the threat by Tompolo in respect of the commissioning of the project by the President. True to the alarm, the President called off the commissioning because of the threat by Tompolo.

When leaving the venue, the journalists were joined on the boat by the seven victims, three of whom were given a free ride, one was a boat driver and three were from the company that owns the boat.

On their way from Ogidingben after their assignments, the seven victims and the journalists were stopped in their boats and blocked by more than ten other boats loaded with fierce-looking and armed hooligans around an area called Tebujo, which is also near an area called Opuraja. The seven victims and the journalists were then evacuated from their boat into one of the boats of the hooligans. Along the line, Tompolo called and spoke with one of the journalists and he confirmed that he sent the hooligans to accost them and that they should “co-operate” with his boys.

The seven victims and the journalists were then taken to Tompolo’s house in Opuraja where they were beaten to pulp by Tompolo’s boys. The cameras of the journalists were all seized and the memory cards were removed so that they could not show what they went to cover. Unknown to them however, the journalists all had back-ups of their materials in their external hard disks which Tompolo’s boys did not see and seize.

It was a near-death experience for all the victims and in particular for Mr. Tokunbor Oluwaleye who is suffering from internal bleeding and is in a critical condition till today. It took the intervention of Naval and Army personnel in the area for the victims and journalists to be rescued from the hands of Tompolo’s boys later that evening.

Sirs, your failure to simply carry out your statutory duties of arrest, investigation and prosecution of Tompolo for his various acts of lawlessness is now a national and an international embarrassment to the Government of President Goodluck Jonathan. It is disgusting to all men of normal minds to see a private citizen strutting all over the place, threatening lives, abducting citizens, (perhaps silently killing voiceless persons) and you hide your heads in the sand. Yet, he moves about with nearly a whole platoon of Army and security personnel that even a serving Governor cannot get. What is going on?

Recall that I wrote a complaint of the open threat to my life by the same individual nearly two weeks ago, yet you have not even done as little as write me an acknowledgment letter. It is such a shame. This unhealthy romance between government officials in high places and this individual raises strong suspicion over, perhaps, some criminal dalliance in relation to shady deals. I am confident that time will tell us better. There is no better way to see this. But I have decided that enough is enough.

Take notice that if within 72 hours of the receipt of this petition you fail, refuse and/or neglect to invite/arrest, investigate and perhaps prosecute Mr. Government Ekpemupolo (alias Tompolo) for the threat to my life and the attempted murder of these seven victims and the journalists, I will be proceeding to court to compel you to do your duties under the law.

I would want you to come and tell the court what is tying your hands against Tompolo.

17 Lawyers Become SAN, Keyamo Falls Short

gavelll_0The Legal Practitioners’ Privileges Committee, LPPC, has conferred with the rank Of Senior Advocate of Nigeria, 17 out of the 109 lawyers screened.

Chief Registrar of the Supreme Court, Mr Sunday Olorundahunsi, who announced the approved list, said the award was a mark of excellence of the legal profession by the nominees.

He, however, added that while no female met the criteria set by the committee for the award, popular Human Rights lawyer, Mr Festus Keyamo, also fell short of the requirements for the award.

Those approved are:

(1). Dr.Olu Onagoruwa

(2). Prof Joash.O.Amupitan

(3). Olusola Olaseni Idowu

(4). Dr.Ernest .M.Ojukwu

(5). Ahamefula.I.E.Ejelam

(6). Chike G.Onyemenam

(7). Tawo E.Tawo

(8). O.O.Adejuyigbe

(9) S.A.Ogwemoh

(10) Dr.A.A.Olawoyin

(11). Dr.J.O.Olatnke

(12). T.O.Busari

(13). Kevin.C.Nwufo

(14). Dr.Amuda-Kannike Abiodun

(15). Oluwakemi.A.Balogun

(16). Hakeem.O.Afolabi

(17). Gerald G.E.Ezeuko.

 

More details soon.

EFCC Vs Fani-Kayode Trial Stalled As Keyemo Is Absent In Court

PHOTO by Channelstv.comThe absence of the prosecuting counsel, Mr Festus Keyamo, on Wednesday stalled the trial of former Aviation Minister, Femi Fani-Kayode, on allegations of laundering about a hundred million Naira.

Justice Rita Ofili-Ajumogobia of the Federal High Court Lagos was dissatisfied that Mr Keyamo, who was said to be ill, failed to give the court a prior notification of his absence.

The judge said “courtesy” demanded that Mr Keyamo phoned the court to save the time of the court and defence lawyers some of whom had come from outside Lagos especially as the matter had been scheduled since March 19 for trial to continue today.

A counsel, Mr Vitalis Ahaotu, from Mr Keyamo’s law firm was in court, but he could not proceed with the matter, especially as the court had earlier ruled that only Mr Keyamo was competent to prosecute the case since he was the one who was given the fiat by the Attorney-General of the Federation.

A former President of the Nigerian Bar Association, Mr Wole Olanipekun, who was also in court told the judge that he had joined the defence and that from the next proceedings, he would be leading the team defending Mr Fani-Kayode.

Mr Olanipekun had also taken over from Mr Ifedayo Adedipe, who will remain a part of the defence team.

Justice Ofili-Ajumogobia adjourned the matter till May 16 and 17 for continuation of trial.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Keyamo Alleges Plot To Kill Charles Okah

Counsel to Mr Charles Okah, is alleging a plot to kill the suspected brains behind the 2010 Independence Day bombing of the Abuja Eagle Square in prison.

In a statement, Mr Festus Keyamo has accused the prison authorities of denying Mr Okah access to medication necessary to treat his critical health condition.

According to Mr Keyamo, the Kuje Prisons clinic issued a prescription for “Amlodipine 10m” for treatment of Charles Okah’s High Blood Pressure and hypertension.

He said that after Mr Okah’s wife purchased the drugs and handed them over to the prisons officer in charge, DCP. Felix Lawrence, he seized them and refused to administer the medication to the patient.

The statement added that the events “suggest beyond doubt that there is a plot to kill our client in Kuje Prisons. This is more so because our client, who has only one kidney is hypertensive and also suffers High Blood Pressure regularly”.

Mr Keyamo further compares Charles Okah’s situation to the circumstances that led to the death of Tiemkemfa Osovwo also known as General Gbokos sometime in 2012.

The lawyer is therefore urging the Minister of Interior to compel the prison official, Mr Lawrence to release and administer the said drugs to Mr. Charles Okah within 24 hours, otherwise, he would take further steps to enforce his client’s fundamental human rights.

Keyamo Challenges Jonathan On Appointment Of Service Chiefs

PHOTO by Channelstv.com

A Lagos based legal practitioner, Mr Festus Keyamo has written to President Goodluck Jonathan, urging him to obey and comply with a Federal High Court judgment in respect of appointments of service chiefs.

The letter was also addressed to the Senate President, David Mark, and the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Aminu Tambuwal.

In the letter, Mr Keyamo recalled that on July 1, 2013, he obtained a judgment from the court sitting in Abuja, which declared that the appointments of the Chief of Air Staff, Chief of Army Staff and that of the Chief of Naval Staff were done without the approval of both the Senate and the House of Representatives.

These appointments, the court held was contrary to Section 18 Subsection 1 and 2 of the Armed Forces Act of Nigeria, 2004.

Mr Keyamo noted that no appeal had been filed to challenge the judgment. He therefore wants the President to uphold the rule of law and not give Nigerians the impression that the military is still above the law.

The legal practitioner said that as at today, all official actions taken by the service chiefs; Lt-General Azubuike Ihejirika (Chief of Army Staff), Air Vice-Marshal Alex Sabundu Badeh (Chief of The Air Staff) and Rear-Admiral Dele Joseph Ezeoba (Chief of Naval Staff), are null, void and of no effect in the eyes of the law.

He has therefore issued a 14 day ultimatum to the President, the Senate President and the Speaker to act and enforce the compliance of the judgment, failing which he would go back to court to compel compliance.

$620,000 Bribe: Keyamo Threatens To Sue Lawan

With the failure of the National Assembly to take any action on the $620,000 bribery scandal, involving Representative Farouk Lawan, a Lagos based lawyer, Festus Keyamo has vowed to head for the court, if the police fail to arraign the embattled lawmaker.

Mr Keyamo, in a statement on Wednesday, advised the Nigerian Police Force not to wait for the consent of the Attorney General of the Federation (AGF), but to go ahead and charge the legislator to court.

“I have taken it upon myself as a responsible citizen to bring Farouk Lawan to justice. By this statement, I expect that he and his cohorts in the House of Representatives should be arraigned before a court of law within one week” the fiery lawyer warned.

Describing the delay in seeking prosecution by the security agency as “absurd dimension”,Keyamo decried the back and forth blame games being played by the Nigeria Police Force and the office of the Attorney General of the Federation (AGF).

“The public has been treated to all sorts of shameless and obvious attempts to drag the investigation into the murky water of politics instead of treating it purely as a crime” he stated.

Explaining why the police is empowered by law to seek prosecution without an authorization from the AGF, Mr Keyamo stated that, “the law presently as espoused by the Supreme Court in the case of FRN Vs. OSAHON (2006) 5 NWLR PT (Pt. 973) 361, says that the Police and other law-enforcement agencies can directly charge matters to court without the consent or fiat of the Attorney-general of the Federation or of any State.”

“The Attorney-General can only intervene by taking over to continue or discontinue the proceedings.”

“What, then, is the Police waiting for?” he asked, adding that “the real intention is to make the public forget about the matter and for us to move on with our lives. I will not forget.”

The House of Representatives made no mention of the bribery case at the resumed plenary session on Wednesday.

According to the lawyer, the bribe giver, Mr Femi Otedola “committed no offence at all.”

“A man, who reports an attempt at a crime to the authorities and plays along to catch the offender, commits no crime. Even laymen know this position of the law” he concluded.

It is over six months since the scandal broke regarding the collection of $620, 000 by Mr Lawan from oil mogul, Mr Femi Otedola for the purpose of doctoring his committee’s report relating to the fuel subsidy scam probe by the House of Representatives.