The Niger Delta ex militant leader, Chief Government Ekpemupolo alias Tompolo, who has constantly refused to make an appearance in court to answer to a multi-billion naira corruption allegation leveled against him by the Economic And Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, seems to have had a re-think about his previous decision as he now indicated his readiness to show up before the court.
Recall that the Chief Justice of Lagos State Federal High Court, Ibrahim Buba, issued a bench warrant of arrest on Tompolo two weeks ago, due to his blunt refusal to appear before the court for his arraignment over a supposed N34 billion scam allegedly lodged against him, as well as ex-Director General of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), Patrick Akpobolokemi and four other persons together with their companies by the EFCC.
Announcing his preparedness to squarely face the charges, Mr. Government said,
I will appear in court at the appropriate time.
He however did not specify when exactly the appropriate time will be.
Tompolo revealed this in a statement issued by Mr. Paul Bebenimibo, his media adviser and consultant, on Thursday morning. He further stated that his team of legal practitioners are making final arrangements towards his appearance in court.
Nevertheless, Bebenimibo insisted that
Chief Government Ekpemupolo (Tompolo) has consistently maintained that he has no hand in the recent bombing of oil pipelines in the creeks of Delta State.
Let it be known to Nigerians and the entire World that, Tompolo will never wage a war against the Federal Government, as he has sworn in 2009 when he accepted the Presidential amnesty declared by late President Umaru Musa Yar’Adua.
He has kept faith with Nigeria. He has promised to work with the present administration unconditionally, and he stands by that declaration.
He was seriously troubled by the recent pipeline bombing incident, because he has provided security for these pipelines even when the government refused to pay him. And so, he could not have been the one to damage same pipelines.
Talking about the allegation that he is procuring speed boats in readiness for war, he said
It is the biggest lie of the year, as the military is also aware of the boats and pick-up vans he purchased in 2011 for the surveillance of oil facilities as he was working hand in hand with the military then.
Tompolo is a man of peace and he is poised for the development of the coastal Niger Delta region. He prays that this matter be amicably resolved so that everyone will know that he always put his people above his person gains.
And true to his fears, these set of APC chieftains that joined the party immediately after the presidential election of 2015, were the first people to accuse him of bombing the pipelines to divert public attention.These new APC members who the former chairman of the party, Chief Bisi Akande, described as parasites, also threatened to cause problem in the Niger Delta region if the pipeline surveillance contract in Delta State already awarded to Messers Ocean Marine Solution is not re-awarded to them.
This is a clear testimony of their involvement in the bombing of the pipelines. Since then, we all have seen their role in misleading the military and the general public.
Now, it could be recalled that this same Africanus Ukparasia threatened Tompolo not to show interest in the elections, as he was a strong supporter of the APC candidate. He killed and maimed fellow Ijaw people because of a governorship election, and now he is the one accusing Tompolo of bombing pipelines.