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N34b fraud: Tompolo’s firm, ex-NIMASA DG, Akpobolokemi triumph as court dismisses case

A N34 billion fraud case filed by the Federal Government against Global West Vessel Specialist Ltd, a company linked to a former Niger Delta militant leader, Government Ekpemupolo, aka Tompolo, has been dismissed by a Federal High Court in Lagos presided over by Justice Ibrahim Buba.

Patrick Akpolokemi, a former Director-General of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), Kime Engozu, Rex Elem, Gregory Mbonu and Warredi Enisuoh, were co-defendants in the now dismissed charge.

Three firms, Odimiri Electrical Ltd; Boloboere Property and Estate Ltd; and Destre Consult Ltd. also benefited from the ruling.

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Tompolo, who was initially joined as the first defendant in the case, ignored repeated court summonses, which made EFCC counsel, Mr. Festus Keyamo (SAN), to apply that Tompolo’s name should be removed from the charge sheet.

During the trial, the other defendants filed a no-case submission, asking the court to dismiss the charge for lacking in merit.

However, Justice Buba upheld the defendants’ plea, saying the prosecution “failed to establish a prima facie case” against them and dismissed the 40-count charge.

The EFCC had accused the defendants of conspiring among themselves to convert various sums, exceeding N34 billion, belonging to NIMASA to their personal use.