The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission Friday told a federal judge that the whereabouts of Government Ekpemupolo, a former militant leader, were unknown.Festus Keyamo, counsel to the EFCC, said a combined team of Nigerian police and military officers had been combing the creeks for weeks without success.
The judge had issued a warrant for the arrest of Mr. Ekpemupolo (also known as Tompolo) on February 8 after he shunned repeated invitations to appear before the EFCC for questioning.Last week, the commission declared the ex-militant wanted.
“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,” Mr. Keyamo told the judge on Friday.
“Every security agent in this country is involved in the search for the first defendant. What is unfolding is something that has never been seen before in this country for a very long time.”Mr. Ekpemupolo and Patrick Akpobolokemi, the former Director General of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency, NIMASA, are accused of a multibillion naira fraud at the agency.
On Friday, no lawyer announced appearance for Mr. Ekpemupolo, a situation the prosecution noted was disrespectful to the court.“Having registered his appearance at the last sitting, the very senior counsel (Mr. Oyetibo) ought to have come to withdraw his appearance,” Mr. Keyamo said.