FILE: Ateke Tom boys are arriving to their camp 9 hidden in the mangrove in the Niger Delta in July 2009. | Veronique de Viguerie/Getty Images

Niger Delta militant leader and founder of the defunct Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta (MEND), High Chief Government Ekpemupolo, popularly known as Tompolo, has said he would soon appear before the Federal High Court to answer case of fraud leveled against him by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).

The ex-warlord also dismissed as untrue that he has concluded plans to wage war against the federal government saying that he is committed helping the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari to succeed.

Tompolo stated this in a statement issued by his media adviser and consultant, Mr. Paul Bebenimibo on Thursday while responding to an allegation by his colleague in the Niger Delta struggle, Mr. Africanus Ukparasia popularly referred General Africa from Bayelsa State that Tompolo was behind recent bombing of oil installation in the region.

Former MEND commander Government Ekpemupolo, also known as Tompolo. (Photo Credit: Vanguard)
Former MEND commander Government Ekpemupolo, also known as Tompolo. (Photo Credit: Vanguard)

The statement said, “As he has stated in several occasions, he will appear in court at the appropriate time as his lawyers are working towards that.” “Tompolo has no reason to bomb pipelines because of EFCC case, he knows he is innocent”, it added.

Tompolo stressed that, “Let it be known to Nigerians and the entire World that Tompolo will never wage war against the Federal Government as he has sworn in 2009 when he accepted the Presidential amnesty declared by late President Umaru Musa Yar’Adua.” It added, “He (Tompolo) has kept faith with Nigeria.

He has promised to work with the present administration unconditionally, and he stands by that declaration. “He was seriously troubled by the recent pipeline bombing incident, because he has provided security for these pipelines even when the government refused to pay him.

And so, he could not have been the one to damage same pipelines. “As regards acquisition of speed boats for war, it is the biggest lie of the year, as the military is also aware of the boats and pick-up vans he purchased in 2011 for the surveillance of oil facilities as he was working hand in hand with the military then. “Tompolo is a man of peace and he is poised for the development of the coastal Niger Delta region.

He prays that this matter be amicably resolved so that everyone will know that he always put his people above his person gains.” He explained that he had earlier before the multiple attacks on oil installations in the region raised an alarm that some persons believed to be members of the All Progressives Congress from Bayelsa and Delta States plot to destroy national assets, especially oil pipelines in the Niger Delta as a result of the outcome of the 2015 governorship election of Bayelsa State.

The former militant leader further, And that they will do this and points accusing fingers at him, to further worsen his ordeal in the hands of the ruling APC Federal Government. And true to his fears, these set of APC chieftains that joined the party immediately after the presidential election of 2015,were the first people to accuse him of bombing the pipelines to divert public attention.

“These new APC members who the former chairman of the party, Chief Bisi Akande,described as parasites, also threatened to cause problem in the Niger Delta region if the pipeline surveillance contract in Delta State already awarded to Messers Ocean Marine Solution is not re-awarded to them.

“This is a clear testimony of their involvement in the bombing of the pipelines. Since then, we have all seen their roles in misleading the military and the general public.”

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