Ex-Niger Delta militant leader, Government Ekemupolo, is reportedly in more trouble, as fresh charges of fraud have been leveled against him.
The ex-warlord popularly called Tompolo, has allegedly been charged alongside 12 others. They are to face a 22-count charge filed by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).
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The charges were filed on Friday, January 22, at a Federal High Court in Lagos. They bordered on stealing, advanced fee fraud and money laundering to the tune of over N22.7 billion.
Those to be arraigned alongside Tompolo in the fresh 22 counts is a former Director-General of NIMASA, Patrick Akpobolokemi, whose four brothers – Victor, Nobert, Emmanuel and Clement – who are still at large, were said to have aided the suspects to commit the fraud.
The other suspects are Kime Engozu, Josephine Otuaga, Rita Uruakpa and Pondi Kestin.
This new charges come, eight days after Justice Ibrahim Buba ordered the arrest of the embattled ex-militant lord, for his failure to appear on Thursday, January 14.
Tompolo was to appear to take his plea on a separate 40-count of alleged N34bn fraud earlier filed against him and nine others by the EFCC.
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According to The Punch, EFCC listed 25 witnesses that will testify against Tompolo and his 12 co-suspects when trial begins on the fresh charges which are yet to be assigned to a judge.
It is gathered that among the witnesses are seven EFCC investigators, officials of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), officials of the Ministry of Transport, Ministry of Lands, Housing and Urban Development, and officials of Bureau of Public Procurement.
Also to give testimony against the suspects are officials of four commercial banks in Nigeria.
Meanwhile, there are calls to declare Tompolo a wanted fugitive in the country. One of such calls has been made by Prince Arerebo Bodi, a chieftain of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) in Bayelsa state.
Chief Bodi who believes Tompolo is wasting time by playing the "blame game", told the EFCC to declare the ex-militant leader wanted, if he refuses to submit himself the commission.