Niger Delta students comprising of the students of the National Association of Gbaramatu Students (NAGS) and Law Students Association of Nigerian Students, Delta State University chapter, have asked President Muhammadu Buhari-led Federal Government to drop charges against the former militant, Mr. Government Ekpemupolo, popularly known as Tompolo.
The students who made the demand during a peaceful protest in Warri, Delta State, gave reasons for their demands to include that they have benefitted immensely from the scholarship programme of the ex-militant who has been declared wanted by the federal government since the inception of the current administration.
The students rather urged the federal government to encourage Tompolo to invest more rather than prosecute him.
One of the beneficiaries of the United Kingdom Master’s programmes sponsored by Tompolo urged the government to allow and support developers of the Niger Delta region instead of persecuting them.
According to him, “The government is only witch-hunting him, they have no issues tangible against him. Tompolo is our saviour in the region. He knows the importance of education and has fought to give it to us,” he told Channels TV.
Another beneficiary, Rachel Briyai said the charges levelled against her benefactor (Tompolo) are ‘frivolous.’
“The charges against Tompolo are frivolous and should be dropped. He wants development and should be encouraged by the government to do more, not to be attacked.”
Recall that the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, and the Nigerian Military had, since the last quarter of 2015, launched a manhunt for Tompolo over allegations he sold some fictitious buildings and facilities at the Kurutie temporal site of the Nigerian Maritime University (NMU) in Delta State to the previous administration and pocketing about N13 billion.
Consequently, Tompolo had gone into self-exile, off the grip of the security agents.
The security operatives launched the manhunt for Tompolo after he failed to honour invitations by the anti-graft agency.