Tompolo cannot be tried in absentia – Ijaw group faults EFCC action

The Ijaw People Development Initiative, IPDI, has said that the purported trial in absentia of Chief Government Ekpemupolo, a.k.a Tompolo, by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, was void, just as it condemned the process, noting that it was an invitation to anarchy.

IPDI, in a statement yesterday in Warri, Delta State, by Austin Ozobo, its National President, said that the trial was null and void as no law gives credence to prosecuting anybody in absentia as no criminal proceedings can go on without arrest.


According to the group, “Tompolo’s trial is tricky and dicey. It has no precedence and there is a lacuna in the judicial system. EFCC goofed as arraignment of someone in absentia is not a known practice in law.

“EFCC is acting on illegality and playing a political script, and as such it is an abuse of court processes and invitation to anarchy. Even in an instance of conspiracy, and one was arrested, the court cannot punish the arrested accused person in crimes committed by the escapee because offences are not transferrabe.

“There is no provision in our laws or court rules that allows a person to be tried in absentia.”


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