The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has separated former Niger Delta militant, Government Ekpemupolo, from a forty-count charge of fraud and money laundering.
Mr. Ekpemupolo, popularly known as Tompolo, was initially charged by the EFCC in January, alongside Patrick Akpobolekemi, the Director General of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency, and four others. However, the EFCC announced to the presiding judge on Tuesday that it has amended the charge with Tompolo's name removed. Instead, Tompolo will be arraigned and tried separately on twenty-two counts of fraud and money laundering.
Tompolo, who was absent from Tuesday's proceedings, is currently on the run and considered wanted by the EFCC, who obtained a court order to seize his assets. A warrant for Tompolo's arrest was issued on January 14 and renewed on February 8.
The proceedings on Tuesday continued without Tompolo. The accused parties pleaded not guilty to charges of conspiracy, fraudulent conversion, and money laundering. The court adjourned the matter to April 18.