Law News
Appeal Court Okays Warrant of Arrest Against Tompolo

The Court of Appeal in Lagos on Wednesday dismissed the appeal filed by Government Ekpemupolo (alias Tompolo) challenging the warrant of arrest obtained by the Economic Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) for his arrest. The bench warrant was issued against him by Justice Ibrahim Buba of the Federal High Court in Lagos after he failed to appear in court for trial on criminal charges filed against him by the commission.

The Daily Times recalls that the EFCC had on December 15, 2015, instituted a Criminal Charge against Tompolo and 9 others. But the lawyer to the EFCC, Mr Festus Keyamo, could not serve Tompolo personally with the summons. On January 12, 2016 Keyamo applied and obtained an order for substituted service of the said summons by pasting same on Tompolo’s last known address at No. 1 Agbanu DDPA Extension Warri, Delta State. However, despite the substituted service of same on Tompolo, he refused, neglected and failed to appear in court in response to the Summons.

Consequently on January 14, 2016 Justice Buba issued a Warrant for the arrest of Tompolo pursuant to Section 131 of the Administration of Criminal Justice Act, 2015.

Tompolo thereafter filed a Motion on Notice dated 27th January, 2016 seeking the following reliefs: an order of court setting aside its order of 12th January, 2016 for issuance of Summons to compel the appearance of the defendant; an order setting aside Charge No: FHC/L/553C/15 and service of summons to compel the appearance of the defendant and, an order setting aside the warrant for the arrest of the defendant issued on 14 January, 2016. After listening to arguments of both parties, Justice Buba dismissed Tompolo’s motion. Dissatisfied, Tompolo appealed against the dismissal of his motion.

But in its judgment yesterday, the Court of Appeal agreed with the EFCC that Tompolo had been properly served with the summons and saw no reason to set aside the subsisting bench warrant against him. The appellate court unanimously held that Tompolo’s appeal is devoid of any merit and consequently dismissed it.

The Court of Appeal also upheld the decision of Justice Buba and the reasons why the bench warrant was issued against Tompolo.

Source: Andrew Orolua
The Daily Trust News

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