One person of interest, an Aso-empowered brigandage, Government Ekpemupolo, aka Tompolo, a former militant leader, like a wounded telltale, has been in the dock of public opinion for acts bothering on corruption, fraud, money laundering and sabotage on the nation’s economy.
Government Ekpemupolo popularly known as Tompolo, (born 1971), is a Nigerian militant commander of the Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta, (MEND). For years Ekpemupolo commanded various guerrilla groups in the Niger Delta and with his vast wealth, aided in the proliferation of arms in the region.
Tompolo and his culprits-in-chiefs’ meteoric rise to national attention was made possible in the past through series of uncoordinated attacks in the creeks of Niger Delta, ranging from pipe line vandalization, oil bunkering, setting up of illegal refineries, kidnapping of expatriates and other acts of sabotage under the guise of agitating against the insensitivity of the Federal Government and the international oil companies towards to exploitation and degradation of the Niger Delta.
The amnesty programme in 2009 in the Niger Delta led to the end of the unrest in the region and also elevated all manner of knaves to the sanctum sanctorum of national attention under the asphyxiating corruption of the immediate past administration.
When the immediate past permissive president, Jonathan held sway, the office of the president was reduced to cesspool of corruption and incompetence; those identified with corruption were carefully selected to the Augean stable, including Ekpemupolo Tompolo, who ones declared himself enemy of the State.
Tompolo’s access to the presidency was not only unrestricted, he also had the privilege of the proximity to the national treasury. He instantly became a house hold name in the Niger Delta and a stake holder in the affairs of the nation. He was elevated to an elder statesman, mentor, role model and whatever befitting status one could think of.
He was untouchable, feared by all, revered by our security institutions, courted by the high and mighty for political and pecuniary reasons and had a cult following among the youths of the Niger Delta.
In one fell swoop, the ones fearless, revered and tenacious Tompolo who rose from the creeks of the Niger Delta to stupendous wealth and properties worth billions of naira in Nigeria and beyond has become a wanted fugitive.
His recent disappearance following a warrant of arrest for failing to honour repeated invitations to appear before the EFCC for questioning over a multi-billion naira fraud at the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency, NIMASA has unearthed the political pot of corruption he and his brotherhood of looters buried in their grave yards of personal ambitions.
Like frog underneath the coconut shell, Tompolo and his cahoots have suddenly realized the coconut shell they have been incubating in is not really the world.
With the recent order for the confiscation of all his assets, moveable and immovable by a Federal High Court judge in Lagos following his disappearance, is Government Ekpemupolo aka Tompolo, on the verge of being consigned to the dustbin of history with massive ignominy?
Could this be the end of Tompolo?
Joe Onwukeme, @unjoerated, firstname.lastname@example.org
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