Ubah committed economic sabotage, NNPC tells court

Opuiyo said Ubah was arrested in connection with the theft of petrol kept by the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC, in his tank farm in Lagos. The product was valued at over N11 billion.

The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) yesterday told the Federal High Court, Lagos, that the Chief Executive Officer of Capital Oil and Gas Limited, Dr. Ifeanyi Ubah, is being detained by the Department of State Services (DSS) because he committed economic sabotage by diverting petroleum products kept in his custody.

Counsel to NNPC, Mr. K. T. Turaki (SAN), stated this while urging the court to strike out the motion on notice filed by Ubah seeking orders for his release from the custody of DSS.

Turaki, while arguing his clients’ counter affidavit to Ubah’s originating motion and a preliminary objection, averred that the corporation has been subjected to various investigations, particularly the issue of fuel diversion in the past two years, adding that NNPC has a duty to inform the investigating agencies where fuels were kept. He said it is left for security agencies to find out what happened to the products.

He also submitted that security agencies have inherent power under the constitution to investigate economic crime, which diversion of petroleum product is one of them.

He stated further that all the alleged infringements committed by the plaintiff took place in Abuja and not in Lagos and therefore urged the court to decline jurisdiction on the matter and strike out the applicant’s application.

In the same vein, DSS counsel, Mr. Peter Okerinmade also urged the court to dismiss the plaintiff’s application on the ground that it lacks jurisdiction to entertain the suit.

EFCC counsel, A. M. Ocholi, argued that the commission did not breach the right of the applicant, going by its affidavit. He equally urged the court to dismiss the suit.

However, Ubah’s counsel, Mrs. Isioma Esom told the court to discountenance all the objections raised by the respondents.

According to her, NNPC is currently owing Capital Oil and Gas Limited N10 billion and $8 million and her client did not report to any security agency. She said Ubah was arrested on two occasions in Lagos and kept at the Shangisha custody of DSS before being transferred to Abuja and urged the court to order the DSS to release Ubah unconditionally, or in alternative, to admit him to bail, pending the conclusion of the matter.

The trial judge, Mohammed Idris, after listening to the submissions of all parties, adjourned to May 25, 2017, for ruling.

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