The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has filed a fresh 22-count charge against former Niger Delta militant, Government Ekpemupolo (alias Tompolo) and 12 others.
In the charges, filed on Friday before the Federal High Court in Lagos, the EFCC accused Government Ekpemupolo and his co-accused of stealing, advanced fee fraud and N22.77billion money laundering.
Justice Ibrahim Buba had on January 14, 2016 ordered the arrest of Tompolo for failing to appear before him to take his plea on a separate 40-count of alleged N34bn fraud earlier filed against him and nine others by the commission.
Others listed as defendants in the fresh charge are: former Director-General of NIMASA, Patrick Akpobolokemi, whose four brothers; Victor, Nobert, Emmanuel and Clement, who are still at large, were said to have aided the suspects to commit the fraud.
Others are: Kime Engozu, Josephine Otuaga, Rita Uruakpa and Pondi Kestin.
Seven companies are also listed in the charge. They are: Mieka Dive Training Institute Ltd/GTE, Oyeinteke Global Network Ltd, Wabod Global Resources Ltd, Boloboere Properties Estate Ltd, Gokaid Marine Oil and Gas Ltd, Muhaabix Global Services Ltd and Watershed Associated Resources.
The suspects were said to have fraudulently converted various sums running into over N22.7bn stolen from NIMASA to their personal use between December 12, 2014 and April 10, 2015.
They were also accused of defrauding the Federal Government by making false representations, in order to obtain money from the government.
The offences are said to be contrary to Section 8 (a) of the Advance Fee Fraud and other Fraud Related Offences Act, 2006 and punishable under section 1 (3)of the same Act.
The charge sheet signed by Festus Keyamo also indicated that the suspects violated various sections of the Money Laundering (Prohibition) (Amendment) Act, 2012 including its sections 15(3) and 18(a) and were liable to punishment under Section 15(3) of the same Act.
The suspects were also said to be liable to punishment under Section 1 (2) (c) of the Miscellaneous Offences Act, Cap. M17, Laws of the Federation, 2004.
In count two, the EFCC alleged that the suspects “between the 2nd day of December, 2014 and 10th April,2015 in Lagos, within the jurisdiction of this court, with intent to defraud, induced the Federal Government of Nigeria to deliver to you, the aggregate sum of N11, 900,000,000.00 by falsely pretending to the Federal Government of Nigeria that all that land and its appurtenances lying, being and situate at Mieka Dive Training Institute, Kurutie, Warri South-West, Local Government Area of Delta State, to be acquired by NIMASA for the temporary Campus of the Nigerian Maritime University, Okerenkoko, Warri South-West Local Government Area, is free from any encumbrances, which representation you knew to be false, and you thereby committed an offence contrary to section (1) (b) of the Advance Fee Fraud and other Fraud Related Offences Act, 2006 and punishable under section 1 (3)of the same Act.”