20 November 2016, Warri – Ex-militant leader, Government Ekpemupolo, alias Tompolo, Sunday, distanced himself from an alleged plan by some militants to attack oil facilities in the Niger Delta region on grounds that the Federal Government declined to drop the criminal charges against him by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC.
His media consultant, Mr. Paul Bebenimibo, in a statement, said: “The attention of my client, High Chief Government Ekpemupolo, alias Tompolo, has been drawn to an online publication by faceless person or persons that militants have vowed to attack more oil facilities over Tompolo if Federal Government of Nigeria refused to drop the criminal charges against him by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).”
He said: “High Chief Ekpemupolo (Tompolo) unequivocally dissociates himself from this threat as he did not send anyone to attack oil facilities in the Niger Delta region because of his case with the EFCC. Tompolo has consistently denied involvement in the resurgence and bombing of oil facilities in the Niger Delta region.”
Bebenimibo asserted: “This online publication is coming two days after one Michael Johnny accused Tompolo on a Channels Television programme, “State of the Nation” of being behind the bombing of oil facilities in the Niger Delta region. Tompolo watched the programme with great disbelief as Michael Johnny accused him of being the brain behind the bombings of oil facilities.”
He stated that that one of the suspects in the custody of security agencies had since confessed the person(s) that hired them to bomb oil facilities, adding that it was ridiculous for Johnny to cruelly accused him of being behind bombing of oil facilities when he knew it was a lie.
“Tompolo has instructed his lawyers to sue Michael Johnny for malicious damage,” the statement added.
Bebenimibo asserted: “Tompolo has said in many occasions that he will not resort to violence and bombing of oil facilities because of his case with the EFCC. Tompolo sued the EFCC for illegally placing non-debit order in his company accounts in Warri before he was hurriedly dragged to court by the EFCC in Lagos.”
He added: “And after a year, the court has refused to hear his case for frivolous excuses. And he has vowed to patiently pursue his case, rather than resort to violence and bombing of oil facilities which is greatly affecting our economy.”
“Finally, we wish to warn that no one should use Tompolo’s name to seek relevance in the present administration as such moves will be resisted by any legitimate means,” he said.