The chairman of Capital Oil and gas, Ifeanyi Uba, has been arrested by the Department of State Services (DSS), over an alleged theft of petrol worth N11billion.
A statement yesterday by a DSS official, Tony Opuiyo, said the arrest of the 5th of May was in line with the statutory mandate of the DSS to investigate economic crimes of national security dimension.
Opuiyo said Ubah was arrested in connection with the theft of petrol valued at overN11billion, kept by the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC, in his tank farm in Lagos.
The agency said Ubah’s action amounted to economic sabotage, with “capacity to negatively impact on national economy”.
“The arrest was sequel to Ubah’s engagement in acts of economic sabotage which include stealing, diversion and illegal sale of petroleum products stored in his tank farm by the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC). So far, it has been established that the products stolen amount to over N11 billion. There is no doubt that Ubah’s acts have the capacity to negatively impact on national economy,” the agency further said.
According the agency, Ubah was also engaged in other activities inimical to national security and public order by inciting members of the Petroleum Tanker Drivers (PTD), a critical player in the downstream sub-sector of the Petroleum Industry, to refuse/stop the lifting of products.
It alleged that, that was 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.
“The implications of this on law and order is, in fact, a common knowledge. It is consequent upon this that the Service arrested and will prosecute him forthwith.
“The Service will collaborate with appropriate agencies to ensure that the mischievous activities of any person or group(s) to engage in illegal activities will not affect the effective distribution of products across the country.
“It will also support such agencies to bring to book individuals or companies involved in any criminal act that undermines the nation’s economy,” the DSS statement said.
Recall that the NNPC, on March 17, said about 100 million litres stored at the Capital Oil & Gas depot and over 30 million litres in MRS Limited depot, all in Apapa area of Lagos, were not found when needed.
Ubah, at the time, 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 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,”Ubah had said.