Former Niger Delta militants, weekend, urged President Muhammadu Buhari to prevail on the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, to leave ex-militant leader, Government Ekpemupolo, alias Tompolo, alone and follow the rule of law in its dealings with him. The erstwhile agitators, who met under the auspices of the Transformed Niger Delta Ex-militants Forum, asserted that some persons, who were envious of Tompolo, wrote a petition against him to the EFCC, but advised that the commission in the discharge of its duties should respect the rule of law.
In a communiqué signed by its national president, Meshach Bebenimibo and others, they said, “We appeal to the President as a matter of urgency to instruct the EFCC to follow due process within 1999 Constitution as amended.” At the meeting held in Warri were Prince Bebenimibo, Bayelsa, Edo, Cross River, Rivers, Akwa Ibom and Ondo coordinators of the group, Peter Ayeebide, Austin Peremobowei, Korebor Minama, Anthony Youbai, Oluwah Michael and Oloye Tamarayende.
They said: “We want EFCC to leave Tompolo alone because the petitioners are acting out of jealousy to indict and incarcerate him, that is why they are lying to the whole world that Tompolo sold the land for the building of Nigerian Maritime University, NMU, Okerenkoko.”
According to the communiqué, “The petitioners know the truth and the truth is that Tompolo only sold the International Diving Institute buildings at Kurutie community and the place was sand filled before he built the school. Among the structures are lecture halls, multipurpose pavilion, administrative block, vice- chancellor’s lodge and hostels for male and female students.”
“The previous government brought valuers and did all necessary legal things and collected VAT money before paying him about 90 per cent as agreed.
“We also urge EFCC to have a rethink and defreeze Mieka and GlobalWest accounts.” The group, however, commended President Buhari for his interest in the region, particularly the inclusion of fund for the Amnesty programme in the 2016 Budget presented to the National Assembly, saying, “We really appreciate your kind gesture.”