Posted by News Express | 27 October 2017 | 1,219 times
The Court of Appeal sitting in Lagos on Thursday dismissed an appeal filed by Government Ekpemupolo, alias Tompolo, seeking to set aside the decision of the Federal High Court, Lagos which empowered the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) to attach all the properties belonging to ex-militant. On February 19, 2016, Justice Ibrahim N. Buba of the Federal High Court, Lagos, had made an order attaching Tompolo’s properties for failure to appear to answer the charges against him.
On December 15, 2015, EFCC had instituted a criminal charge against Tompolo and nine others over allegations of fraud at the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA). However, despite substituted service of the court summons effected on him, Tompolo refused to appear in court. Consequently, Justice Buba issued a warrant of arrest against him. Armed with the Warrant of Arrest, the commission launched a manhunt for Tompolo, but could not effect his arrest.
On February 19, 2016, the commission, through its counsel, Festus Keyamo, SAN, prayed the court for an order attaching the properties of Tompolo by seizure, pending his arrest and/or appearance before the court. The court granted the commission’s request prompting Tompolo to appeal against the decision.
However, in a unanimous judgment on Thursday, the Court of Appeal held that Tompolo could not be heard complaining that his properties were attached by the lower court when he had not come to answer to the summons against him. The court held that the option available to Tompolo was to appear before the Federal High Court to apply for the order to be discharged, instead of filing the appeal. The Court of Appeal was of the view that his private right of property had not been breached by the said order.
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