FG Appoints Wanted Criminal As Creeks “Sheriff”

A wanted criminal Tompolo has been appointed by the Buhari-led federal government as the new sheriff of the creeks in the Niger Delta region of Nigeria.

The federal government recently awarded the former militant N4 billion naira monthly contract to serve as the sheriff of the creeks against pipeline vandals and those carrying out illegal bunkering in the Niger Delta.

Government Oweizide Ekpemupolo also known as Tompolo is an indigene of Okerenkoko, Gbaramatu Kingdom, Warri South-West LGA of Delta State, and he was the commander of the Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta (MEND), a coalition of armed rebel groups that kidnapped oil workers and attacked installations between 2006 and 2009.

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The gbaramatu chief priest who was declared wanted several years ago for various crimes by the federal government,  has never shown up in court to defend or answer to the court for the crimes he was accused of by the EFCC.

Speaking before Justice Ibrahim Buba in 2016, a lawyer to the EFCC, Mr. Festus Keyamo said, “We wish to inform the court that the warrant of arrest that this court issued in respect of the first defendant (Mr. Ekpemupolo) has not been ‎executed despite the best efforts of all the security agents in this country,” said Festus Keyamo, lawyer to the EFCC.“

This means that with all the effort of the entire security agents in the country, Tompolo could not be found, yet his lawyers were constantly in consort with him but the law enforcement agents could not lay their fingers on any credible intel that could lead them to the wanted criminal.

After losing about nine billion dollars to illegal mining, the federal government resorted to engaging the services of Tompolo knowing that the former militant still commands a strong following in the Niger Delta region.

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If Tompolo who resides within the Niger Delta is difficult to fish out how can we then expect a miracle in identifying and neutralising Boko haram?

Recall that between 2012 and 2015, EFCC charged Tompolo to court with crimes bothering money laundering and theft.

In 2016, Tompolo was declared wanted by Justice Ibrahim Buba of the federal high court in Lagos and the EFCC, in a case of Conspiracy and Illegal Diversion of money belonging to the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency, NIMASA.

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