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Open our work place, Tompolo’s workers tell EFCC

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By Elo Edremoda, Owerri

Workers of Mieka Dive Limited, a maritime company owned by High Chief Government Ekpemupolo (aka Tompolo), have called on the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) to reopen the site which was confiscated in 2016.

This is coming almost five months after a Federal High Court in Lagos quashed all fraud allegations against the former Niger Delta warlord.

The workers marched on the yard in Edjeba community, Warri South Local Government Area of Delta State. They urged President Muhammadu Buhari to intervene.

They carried placards with inscriptions such as “Our families are hungry, allow us go back to work”; “No work, no food”; “EFCC obey court order”; “Federal Government open our yard”.

The workers lamented the hardship forced on them and their families following the sudden confiscation by the EFCC, and the continuous deprivation of access to the company since July 15 when judgment was given in favour of their boss.

Federal Government declared Tompolo wanted in 2015 after he failed to appear before the court over an alleged N45.5 billion fraud suit. EFCC seized his properties and sealed the company which has over 500 persons in its employ.

Managing Director of Mieka Dive, Keston Pondi, called for government’s presence during the reopening.

According to him, properties worth millions of naira have been reportedly looted from the yard which has been under the surveillance of security operatives.

He said: “Our demand is that our yard be reopened, and the government be present when it is being reopened.

“Properties worth billions of naira were in the yard but information reaching us is that everything has been looted. Most of the ships, our barges are all sunk. The caravans have also been looted and broken.

“We want the government to open our yard for us. Not just opening it, but to come and take inventory and pay appropriate compensation.”

Tompolo, in a statement, said: “EFCC has no legal reason to refuse to return the properties. Our demands are simple – return the properties confiscated, starting with this jetty (yard) where we now stand, return all our other properties and pay compensation for the ones that were looted.”

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