High Chief Government Ekpemupolo, aka Tompolo, has decried the continued occupation of his business concern, Mieka Dive Ltd, in Warri, Delta state, by the operatives of the Economic and Financial Crime Commission (EFCC) despite being vindicated by a Lagos Federal High Court of criminal dealings and trump up charges preferred against him by the anti graft agency.
While appealing to the federal government to prevail on EFCC to vacate his property, following the aforementioned judgment delivered on July 15, 2020., the Ex-Warlord in a statement made available on Wednesday December 2nd, 2020, during a peaceful protest by the workers of Mieka Dive Ltd, at its Edjeba yard in Warri South Council Area, lamented the losses incurred during the five (5) years of his malicious prosecution by the Commission.
According to him; “After nearly five years of malicious prosecution by the EFCC and its henchmen on trumped up allegations, I was vindicated by God and the prayers of all our well-wishers in the Niger Delta and all over the nation”.
To copiously quote him, he in part said; On the 15th of July 2020, the law vindicated me and the Federal High Court threw out all the charges against me, that I have no case to answer. Since then I have made several efforts to reach the government agencies, particularly the EFCC to return my looted property back to me”.
He further stated that; “It is not an irony that today while I am free of all allegations levelled against me, the man who framed me up on corruption allegations and wantonly looted my property is presently disgraced for corruption while i am vindicated”.
“Let Nigerians note that today, more than 5 months after the court vindicated me by quashing all charges of corruption levelled against me, the Nigerian state through the EFCC has refused to return my property unlawfully taken from me under those charges”.
“Not one of those charges is still standing, yet the EFCC has refused to do the right thing. Our peaceful protest today is to raise a cry against this injustice in our land”, he stated.
On his part, the Managing Director of Mieka Dive Ltd, Chief Kestin Pondi, queried the rationale behind the continued seizure of the company premises by EFCC when a competent court of jurisdiction had declared Tompolo free of all the charges levelled against him.
He noted that over the period of five years the premises had remained shut down, a greater percentage of the high duty equipment and facilities running into billions of naira, kept in the yard had been looted by people, including security agents guarding it.
He made reference to the naval officers deployed to guard the premises who were caught in the act of looting some equipment from the yard three (3) years ago and had to be court marshalled by the Naval authority in the Warri area that period.
While also recounting the ordeals of the over 500 staff of the company who had been jobless since the frame up trial started, Pondi, stated that the hardship these workers had been subjected would have been averted if the company had been running all these years.
He called on the federal government to as a matter of urgency direct EFCC operatives to leave the premises, in order for the management to see how they can resume operations in the yard so as to start the process of re-absolving the workers.
“The reason why we are here today is because our company, the Mieka Dive Limited yard has been closed for over 6 years now, and from 2016 till date this yard has been closed, the reason for its closure was that our chairman Chief Tompolo was declared wanted based on some trump up charges and as we speak now, as at on the 15th of July, 2020 the Federal High Court sitting in Lagos had quashed all the allegations leveled against Tompolo based on our no case submission.
“Our demand here today is that our yard be opened for us and we want the government to be present when the yard is open because our properties worth billions of naira were on the yard and Information reaching us at the moment is that everything has been looted. If you remember 3 years ago some navy victims were caught martialed for looting the yard and that was just one of the cases.
“So we want the government to open our yard for us, not just opening the yard, we want them to come and take inventory of the yard, and pay appropriate compensation as to all the properties that have been looted”.
The placard carrying protesters, mostly youths who are workers in the yard, were seen chatting “Buhari the case is over, open our yard now”, stating that they are tired of being jobless for such a very long time and they have been made to starve with their families.