Workers of Global West Vessel Specialists Nigeria Limited, a maritime security company owned by Governmente Ekpemopulo (aka Tompolo) yesterday staged a demonstration in front of the Federal High Court in Ikoyi, Lagos, to protest the non-payment of 15 months’ salary.
Tompolo’s trial at the court was scheduled to resume on Thursday but due to the absence of the prosecutor, Festus Keyamo, the trial was stalled and adjourned to the 10th of November, 2016.
However, it gave Global West workers an opportunity to make known their plight, as they occupied the court’s vicinity bearing placards.
The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) had sued a former Director-General of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), Patrick Akpobolokemi along with Tompolo, Global West, and others for conniving and diverting billions of dollars in NIMASA funds into personal use.
Since 2015, the EFCC has frozen the Global West bank account following the fraud and malpractice allegations brought against the company and others.
The company was said to have paid N700 million to NIMASA as kickbacks, adding that Akpobolokemi compromised the benchmark for sea protection levies in favour of Global West.
Global West, allegedly owned by Tompolo, signed a 10-year maritime security contract under a public-private partnership agreement with the NIMASA.
The company was obligated under the terms of contract to provide security within the Nigerian maritime domain, improve data collection, improve safety of life at sea, enhance search and rescue operations, improve the pollution control and management of waters, and improve revenue generation and enforcement.
Despite the signing of the contract, the workers of Global West have yet to be paid fifteen months’ worth of salaries owed to them.
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