Former leader of the defunct Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta, MEND, Government Ekpemupolo alias Tompolo, has denied sending one Selky Kile Torughedi to assassinate a serving army officer, Major M.B Yahaya in Kaduna.
The Department of State Services, DSS, said Friday it arrested Torughedi, a close associate of Tompolo in Calabar, Cross River State, after he had allegedly carried out reconnaissance on the home of Major Yahaya in Kaduna.
The suspect allegedly identified the former MEND leader as the person that sent him on the kill mission.
But Tompolo denied the claim by the DSS, saying it was a farce by the security agency to get at him.
Speaking through his media consultant, Paul Bebenimibo on Sunday, the former militant leader said he never at any time recruited Torughedi, also known as Young Shall Grow, to assassinate Major Yahaya as reported.
Bebenimibo asserted that the suspect used to be close to Tompolo just as any other agitator involved in the Niger Delta struggle and there was nothing more to their association.
“Apart from him, they are also using another ex-militant leader now. Like I said, I cannot tell you that Tompolo does not know Young Shall Grow. He definitely had met many of them with his position in the struggle. Some are his contemporaries, others are his boys, but that is not to say that he is in control of what they do”, he said.
“The first time they used him against Tompolo was shortly after ex-militants accepted amnesty in 2009. And if you know Tompolo, he is not the kind of person that goes for revenge, he leaves revenge for God. So I can tell you categorically that Tompolo did not send Selky to kill anybody.
“In 2006 when a Shell Petroleum Development Company, SPDC, representative was kidnapped at Letugbene in Bayesla State and Tompolo facilitated his release, nine of his boys who went on the rescue mission were killed by soldiers, who opened fire on them when they were returning. Tompolo as their leader did not seek to revenge.
“Also in 2009 when soldiers were hunting for him, they destroyed Gbaramatu Kingdom, he did not revenge. During the latest invasion of Oporoza, nobody fired a single shot at the soldiers that ransacked the town. So, what is he avenging against Major Yahaya that he would send somebody to Kaduna to kill him?”