Soldiers storm Tompolo’s guest house, arrest occupants

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Soldiers on Saturday afternoon broke into the home of ex-militant leader, Chief Government Ekpemupolo, popularly known as Tompolo in a bid to arrest him  after laying a siege to the building for several hours.

THE PUNCH learnt that the soldiers made their way into the building after several gunshots.

The building which is said to be owned by Tompolo, also served as a guesthouse.

The soldiers were also said to have broken into the community shrine (Oporoza Temple), destroying important artifacts after they failed to apprehend Tompolo, who was their prime target.

Tompolo is believed to be the chief priest of the Gbaramatu goddess. The temple is a stone throw from the invaded guest house.

Spokesman for the Ijaw Youth Council, Eric Omare,  while confirming the invasion, called on the federal government to leave the people of Gbaramatu alone.

Omare, who spoke with our correspondent on the telephone, also confirmed the arrest of the occupants, who he said were merely community youths.

A community youth leader, identified as Mr Raph, who also confirmed the incident, said women and children were fleeing the community for safety. Raph said he was calling from his hideout, where he had been since the soldiers took over the community.

As of 5:30pm, when our correspondent called back, the heavily armed soldiers were yet to leave Oporoza, according to Raph.

Several calls put across to the spokesman for the JTF, Col. Isa Ado, and his NNS Delta counterpart, Lieutenant Lamu, were not answered.

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