Metro Court Orders EFCC To Seize Tompolo's Assets [SEE LIST]


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A Federal High Court in Lagos, presided by Justice Ibrahim Buba on Thursday authorised anti-graft agency, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) to seize not less than six of assets owned by a former Niger Delta militant, Government Ekpemupolo, alias Tompolo.

The judge authorized EFCC to take possession of the concerned assets pending when Tompolo will make himself available to answer the charges of N45.9 billion fraud preferred against him and nine others.

The judge said if Tompolo failed to appear within three months of the order, the Federal Government may proceed to auction the said assets.

The assets of Tompolo, which the EFCC was authorised to seize, include:
his house located at No. 1, Chief Agbamu Close DDPA Extension Warri (Effurun), Delta State.

Others are: a River Crew Change Boat named MUHA -15; “Tompolo Dockyard,” “Tompolo Yard,” the Diving School at Kurutie, at Escravos River; “Tompolo House” at Oporaza Town, opposite the Palace.

The judge said the EFCC may also seize any other assets it may later discover and verify to indeed belong to Tompolo.

The judge, however, declined to authorize the EFCC to seize four companies, which the EFCC had listed in its application as parts of Tompolo’s assets, saying one person does not own a company.

Justice Buba noted that third parties had already appeared in court to oppose the seizure of the said companies.

The said companies are Mieka Dive Ltd.; Mieka Dive Training Institute Ltd.; Global West Vessel Specialist Ltd.; and Muhaabix Global Services Ltd.

The EFCC, through its lawyer, Keyamo, had applied through an ex parte application, to the court pursuant to sections 80 and 81 of the Administration of Criminal Justice Act 2015 to seize Tompolo’s assets.

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At the hearing ysterday, Tompolo’s lawyers, Messrs Tayo Oyetibo (SAN) and Ebun-Olu Adegboruwa, were not in court.

Keyamo, while moving the application, said it would be in the interest of justice to grant it.

He said, “What is unfolding before our very eyes is something that has never been seen in this country for a very long time, where a citizen disparages the order of the court, briefs lawyers to appear for him but refuses to appear, keeps making disparaging statements against the judiciary.”

In his ruling Justice Buba said he found the application to be meritorious.

The judge held, “Sections 80 and 81(ACJA) provide that a judge or a magistrate can at any time, after action has been taken under Section 41 of this Act, for an application made in that regard after summons or warrant has been issued but disobeyed, order the attachment of any property, movable or immovable, or both belonging to a suspect, the subject of public summons or warrant, while Section 81 provides an order under Section 80 of this Act to authorise a public officer to attach any property belonging to the suspect within the area of jurisdiction of the judge…

“This court has no doubt that the application has merit.”
 
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