Tompolo wants court to refer case to appeal

Embattled ex-militant, Government Ekpemupolo, aka Tompolo, has asked the Federal High Court, Lagos, to refer his case against the Federal Government of Nigeria to the Court of Appeal, for its opinion on certain questions of law.

At the resumed hearing of the case before Justice Olatoregun-Ishola, Tompolo, through his counsel, Ebun-Olu Adegboruwa, argued that since the points of law raised in the main originating motion of the applicant were very substantial, it would be better to refer them to the Court of Appeal for its opinion.

When the case came up on Friday, June 17, 2016, counsel for Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) and the Attorney-General of the Federation (AGF) were represented.

Respondents in the suit are the Federal Government, the AGF, the EFCC, the Inspector-General of Police, the Chief of Army Staff, the Chief of Naval Staff and the Chief of Air Staff.

After taking arguments from Adegboruwa, the Judge adjourned the case to July 8, 2016, for the reply of the Federal Government and the EFCC.

On Friday, April 8, 2016, Tompolo filed a fresh action before the Federal High Court in Lagos asking for an interpretation and nullification of certain sections of the Administration of Criminal Justice Act, 2015, which he said, affected his constitutional rights.

Justice Ibrahim Buba of the same court had on January 14, 2016 issued a warrant for the arrest of Tompolo. On January 27, 2016, Tompolo filed an application before the court to set aside the said warrant of arrest. On February 8, 2016, the said application was argued and dismissed by the court.

Tompolo thereafter filed an appeal against the ruling of the court on February 18, 2016. His appeal was entered at the Court of Appeal on March 3, 2016 following which his team of legal practitioners have filed the appellant’s brief of argument in the said appeal, awaiting the response of the EFCC.

Tompolo is contending that sections 221 and 306 of the Administration of Criminal Justice Act are invalid and unconstitutional, in so far as they seek to prevent the court from exercising its jurisdiction to entertain any objection to a criminal charge and an application for a stay of proceedings pending appeal.

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