A pressure group,the Coalition of Niger Delta, CND, has urged the federal government to direct the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, to release all assets of ex-militant leader, Chief Government Ekpemupolo, hitherto seized.
The group said the call for the immediate restoration of the seized assets back to Ekpemupolo, popularly known as Tompolo, became necessary following the Federal High Court judgement that dropped all corruption charges against the ex-militant leader.
The group, made the call in a statement made available to newsmen, after a virtual meeting held Thursday.
In the statement signed by its national chairman, Tamarapreye Tareware, secretary, Prince Meshach Bebenimibo and the seven Niger Delta state coordinators, the group which also hailed the Court judgment, stressed that the Court has shown once again, that it is “the hope of the common man”.
The Statement read: “we commend the court’s decision. The said judgement is a vindication of Tompolo’s innocence on charges of fraud leveled against him.
“Elements who have concocted such allegations are people truncating the development of the Niger Delta Region and as such their plans have failed woefully.
“It should be categorically stated here that Goverment Ekpemupolo alias Tompolo has always been in the fore front of development in the Niger Delta.
“His antecedents are there for everyone to see, therefore, those who concocted such lies are the real enemies of the region and should desist from such actions as the CND will not tolerate such actions from anyone from the region.
“We call on EFCC to hand over properties earlier seized and confiscated from him and his company immediately”.
CND also commended President Muhammadu Buhari for his commitment to the development of the oil-rich region, citing the recent commissioning of the 17-storey Local Content Building in Yenagoa, Bayelsa state.
It however called on President Buhari to facilitate works at the Export Processing Zone, EPZ, Gas Revolution Industrial Park, Ogidigben, the Deep Seaport, Gbaramatu, the Omadino-Escravos Road among other projects which have raised serious concerns and agitations in major oil and gas producing communities in Delta state, in the past few weeks.
“This road (Omadino-Escravos Road) would also cement a working and more cordial relationship, aiding peaceful coexistence between the Ijaws and Itsekiris of Warri South and Warri South-West Local Government Areas.
“We call for immediate relocation to Gbaramatu the Floating Dock/Ship Building yard, which for unknown reasons, this administration is bent on diverting to other areas.
“Projects of this magnitude shouldn’t be allowed to stay stagnant for their positive impact on the people cannot be overemphasized.
“CND also call on Mr. President to appoint a substantive Chairman on the Presidential Amnesty Program to dampen the rising tension in the Niger Delta,” the statement concluded.