According to reports, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has frozen a bank account allegedly belonging to a wanted ex-militant, Government Ekemupolo, otherwise known as Tompolo.
It was learnt on Tuesday that the anti-graft agency found N3bn in the account and had frozen it pending the outcome of court processes.
An operative of the anti-graft agency, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said, “During investigations into the fraud at NIMASA (Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency), we traced about N3bn to a bank account, which is owned by Tompolo.
“The account has since been frozen in accordance with Section 34 (1) of the EFCC Act 2004 which empowers the commission to freeze any account suspected of being used for financial crimes.”
The source explained that the section stipulates that the chairman of the commission or any officer authorised by him might, if satisfied that the money in the account of a person was made through the commission of an offence under the Act or any enactment specified under Section 6(2) (a)-(f) of the Act, apply for the court exparte for power to issue or instruct a bank examiner or such other appropriate authority to freeze the account.
Tompolo, who has been on the run since February, was arraigned in absentia alongside a former Director-General of NIMASA, Patrick Akpobolokemi, and the latter’s six brothers on April 18, 2016, for an alleged N47.7bn fraud.
The anti-graft agency had arraigned the suspects before a Federal High Court in Lagos on 22 counts bordering on fraud, conversion of money and forgery.
The EFCC, in charge number FHC/L/C/31c/2016, alleged that the accused persons had sometime in 2014, within the jurisdiction of the court, with an intent to defraud, conspired among themselves and obtained the total sum of N47,683,464,822 from the Federal Government.
The accused persons were also alleged to have, between May 6, 2014, and December 2, 2014, forged and uttered a Certificate of Customary Rights of Occupancy of the old Bendel State of Nigeria, and purportedly issued same to NIMASA, claiming that it was issued by the Warri South Local Government Area, Delta State, to the prejudice of the Federal Government of Nigeria.
They were also alleged to have received sum of N11,900,000,000 from the Federal Government, by falsely pretending that all the land and its appurtenances lying and situated at Mieka Diva Training Institute, Kurutie, Warri South LGA, Delta State, be acquired by the NIMASA, for the temporary campus of Nigerian Maritime University, Okerenkoko, Warri South.