Former Niger Delta militant leader, Government Ekpemulopo, alias Tompolo who has been declared wanted by the EFCC over his involvement in a N45.9 billion scam at the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency NIMASA, has dragged the Federal government before a Federal High Court in Lagos asking that the fraud charges leveled against him be dropped.
In the court paper filed by his counsel, Ebun-Olu Adegboruwa yesterday April 11th, Tompolo is seeking for the nullification of sections 221 and 306 Administration of Criminal Justice Act, 2015 (ACJA), which prevents parties in a criminal trial from seeking a stay of proceedings.
Section 221 of the ACJA law states that: “Objections shall not be taken or entertained during proceedings or trial on the ground of an imperfect or erroneous charge.” while Section 306 states that “An application for stay of proceedings in respect of a criminal matter before a court shall not be entertained.”
Tompolo in the suit argues that he is innocent and that the sections in the law prevent the court from exercising its jurisdiction to entertain any objection to a criminal charge and an application for a stay of proceedings pending appeal.
“He is thus asking the court to stop his further trial until the determination of these issues,” his counsel said.
The defendants in the suit are the Federal Government of Nigeria, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), the Inspector-General of Police, the Chief of Army Staff, the Chief of Naval Staff and the Chief of Air Staff.