The police have deployed policemen in the creeks of Bayelsa State to arrest a former Niger Delta militant leader, Government Ekpemupolo, popularly known as Tompolo.
It was learnt that the Inspector-General of Police, Solomon Arase, had ordered the Bayelsa State Police Command to carry out Tompolo’s arrest in compliance with the order of a Federal High Court, Lagos.
The Force Public Relations Officer, Bisi Kolawole, confirmed to our correspondent on Sunday that the IG had directed his officers to apprehend Tompolo, who has also been declared wanted by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission.
Justice Ibrahim Buba of the Federal High Court had ordered the arrest of the ex-militant leader for his failure to appear before him to answer 40 counts on an alleged N45.9bn fraud.
The EFCC had charged Tompolo and a former Director-General of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency, Patrick Akpobolokemi, alongside eight others with N45.9bn fraud.
Buba had issued a bench warrant against Tompolo and ordered that he must be produced in court on February 8, 2016 “by all means to answer the charges.”
Tompolo was however not arrested before the due date by the police, who claimed that they were not served the court order.
When the matter came up in court on February 8, Tompolo also failed to show up, prompting the judge to re-issue the order for the ex-militant’s arrest.
The police spokesperson stated that the Force would do everything possible to arrest Tompolo in compliance to the bench warrant issued by the court.
Asked if the police would be collaborating with other security agencies, including the military, to effect Tompolo’s arrest, Kolawole said that would not be necessary, noting that the police were up to the task.
“As the IG stated, we have deployed men to carry out the court order to arrest Tompolo and our men are on his trail. I don’t think it would be necessary to involve other security agencies, the police are up to the task of apprehending him,” she said.
The other suspects in the 40 counts filed against Tompolo and Akpobolokemi are Kime Engozu, Rex Elem, Gregory Mbonu and Capt. Warredi Enisuoh.
The suspects were charged along with four companies, namely: Global West Vessel Specialist Limited, Odimiri Electrical Limited, Boloboere Property and Estate Limited and Destre Consult Limited.
The suspects were accused of diverting and converting to their personal use a sum of N34bn and N11.9bn belonging to NIMASA.
The offence, according to EFCC, is contrary to Section 18 (a) of the Money Laundering (Prohibition) (Amendment) Act, 2012 and were liable to punishment under Section 15 (3) of the same Act.