Despite a stern warning, that he would be declared wanted if he failed to show up in court today, Thursday, former Niger Delta warlord, Government Ekpemupolo, popularly known as Tompolo, has shunned the order of a Federal High Court in Lagos to unconditionally appear before it.
He was billed, alongside four persons and companies, today to answer a 40-count of alleged N13bn fraud levelled against him by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC)
While all his co-accused, including a former Director-General of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), Patrick Akpobolokemi, were present in court, only Tompolo failed to appear.
Justice Ibrahim Buba has consequently issued a bench warrant on Tompolo and ordered the police to produce him in court by all means.
The suspects were alleged to have diverted N34 billion which accrued from the public private partnership agreement between NIMASA and Global West Vessel Specialist Limited for personal use.
The EFCC, yesterday, said it secured an order of the Federal High Court to serve the summon and charge on Tompolo by substituted means as the former Niger Delta militant leader has continuously evaded service.
The order by Justice Ibrahim Buba allows the EFCC to serve the defendant through substituted means by affixing the summons and charge on a conspicuous part of his known address situated at No. 1 Chief Agbanu Street, DDPA Extension Warri, Delta State.
Several invitations extended to the former warlord to appear before EFCC were said to be ignored, stating the EFCC had also disobeyed Court orders and that he has already sued the agency for freezing his account without reason.
The Federal High Court had threatened to order the arrest of repentant Niger-Delta warlord, High Chief, if he does not show up before the court on Thursday.
A court document dated January 12 warned the ex-militant commander to turn himself in or be compelled to do so.
The court document reads, “An order issuing a summons to compel the appearance of GOVERNMENT EKPEMUPOLO (A.K.A. TOMPOLO) before this honuorable court having being alleged to have committed the offences as contained in the body of the charge.
“An order of this honourable court granting leave to serve the summons and Charge NO: FHC/L/553C/2015 on the defendant.
“An order granting leave to the applicant to serve the summons and charge No: FHC/L/553C/2015 on GOVERNMENT EKPEMUPOLO (A.K.A. TOMPOLO) by substituted means to wit: By affixing same on the conspicuous part of his known address situated at No. 1 Chief Agbanu DDPA Extention Warri Delta State.
“And for such further order and other orders as the Honourable Court may deem fit to make in the circumstances. That the case is adjourned to 14/1/2016.”