The Department of State Services (DSS) has arrested the Managing Director of Capital Oil and Gas Ltd., Ifeanyi Ubah, over alleged acts that are inimical to the economy, an operative, Tony Opuiyo, has said.
Opuiyo said in a statement in Abuja on Saturday that Ubah was arrested on Friday for allegedly stealing, diverting and illegally selling petroleum products stored in his tank farm by Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC).
“So far, it has been established that the stolen products amount to over eleven billion naira (N11 billion),’’ he said.
The operative also said Ubah allegedly engaged in other activities inimical to national security and public order.
He said Ubah allegedly incited members of the Petroleum Tanker Drivers, a critical player in the downstream sub-sector of the petroleum industry, to stop the lifting of products.
“This is part of his plans to curry their sentiments and cause them to embark on strike and also stage protests in his favour with the ulterior motive of arm-twisting the NNPC to abandon the cause of recovering the stolen products. There is no doubt that Ubah’s acts have the capacity to negatively impact on national economy,’’ Opuiyo said..
He said that it was for the reasons listed that the Service arrested Ubah and would prosecute him.
Opuiyo assured Nigerians that the Service will collaborate with appropriate agencies to check mischievous activities of groups or individuals.
He said that the Service would also support such agencies to bring to book individuals or companies involved in any criminal act that undermined the nation’s economy.
The NNPC had on March 17 revealed that about 100 million litres stored at the Capital Oil and Gas depot and over 30 million litres in MRS Limited depot, all in Apapa area of Lagos, were not found when needed.
Henry Ikem-Obih, who is the COO (Downstream) in NNPC had said the infraction by the two companies was a clear violation of existing contract which prohibited the firms from tampering with the volumes in their custody without express permission of the corporation.
He said the companies were called to explain and given two options to either return the full volume of what was stored in their depots litre-for-litre or pay the full value of the products taken without approval.
He had also mentioned that NNPC alerted the Directorate of State Service (DSS), the Economic Financial Crime Commission (EFCC) and relevant committees of National Assembly with oversight function on the corporation’s downstream operation to help recover the assets.
MRS paid for the 30 million litres that vanished in its own depot, however, Ubah described the allegation of theft against his company as mischievous and misleading. He said the NNPC also failed to tell the public that it also owed Capital Oil billions of Naira from their mutual business transactions.
“It is normal for parties in businesses to owe each other in business relationships and that if reconciliation is carried out with the NNPC, the firm will find out that there may be very little or nothing for Capital Oil to pay the corporation,” he said.
A fall-out of the missing petrol was the sack in April by the NNPC management of Esther Nnamdi-Ogbue, Managing Director, NNPC Retail Ltd; Alpha P. Mamza, Executive Director, Operations, NNPC Retail Ltd; and Oluwa Kayode Erinoso, Manager, Distribution, NNPC Retail Ltd.