A cross section of students of Niger Delta region, yesterday, protested the continued trial of High Chief Government Ekpemupolo, also known as Tompolo, and called on the Federal Government to immediately withdraw all charges against him.
The students, comprising members of the National Association of Gbaramatu Students, NAGS, and Law Students Association of Nigeria, LAWSAN, Delta State University, DELSU Chapter, made the call during a peaceful protest in Warri, Delta State.
The protesters displayed placards with inscriptions such as, “Tompolo is not guilty”; “Tompolo is a prominent builder of the future of youths in Nigeria”; “EFCC must drop all charges against Tompolo”; “Though politically prosecuted, Tompolo maintains his support for national security.”
The students claimed Tompolo was a saviour to many students who hitherto had no access to education and should be commended instead of vilified.
Freeborn Abraiye, President, NAGS, said: “Tompolo is being witch- hunted, his efforts in education of students cannot be overemphasised and his passion is enormous. Tompolo always ensured that youths of the region get scholarships to study. He is a selfless leader; the charges against him should be dropped.”
Attorney General of LAWSAN, Delsu, Jonathan Obiri, on his part added: “Tompolo has done well. The charges against him are frivolous and of no effect. 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. The government is doing little in the development of Niger Delta. But people like Tompolo came out to challenge the impunity.”
Similarly, Rachel Briyai, a beneficiary of UK Masters degree sponsored by Tompolo, urged the government to swallow its pride and quash all charges against Tompolo considering the efforts he had put in development of the region.