Fuel subsidy scam: Police to re-arrest, arraign Ifeanyi Ubah, Capital Oil Boss
The many troubles swirling around the Managing Director/CEO of Capital Oil and Gas Industries Limited, Chief Ifeanyi Ubah, is yet to abate as feelers from the Police Force Headquarters indicate that the Police is set to be re-arrested and arraigned him following his alleged complicity in the N22.4b fuel subsidy scam.
According to a reliable insider at the Force headquarters who confided in THE CITIZEN, Ubah will be arraigned immediately after his re-arrest, foreclosing any final changes.
The source also disclosed that the Capital Oil boss will be remanded by the Police is said to be in possession of incriminating evidence and exhibits to establish criminal liabilities against Ubah and four other his accomplices.
The source added that as a result of the fresh lines of evidence, the Federal Government has issued directives to stall payment of the outstanding oil subsidy claims by Capital Gas and Oil Limited amounting to over N20billion.
The source also revealed that the Presidency is irked by the 'purported' recommendation of the police to the minister of finance 'to go ahead and process claims of payment for outstanding subsidy to the firm'without exhausting all lines of investigation on the matter before exonerating the chief executive of Capital Oil of all the alleged crimes.
Ubah's re-arrest, the source added, may not be unconnected with his recent strategy to evade arrest as he returned to the court to seek an order restraining the Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Ibrahim Lamorde and the Inspector General of Police, Mohammed Abubakar, from detaining and threatening to detain or prosecute him over his alleged involvement in the fuel subsidy fraud and forgery of a lease document in respect of a property in Apapa, Lagos.
Ubah had alleged that because of his rising political profile, his political adversaries were determined to stop him from realising his ambition to run as a credible candidate for the Anambra State governorship election in 2014, although it still unclear on which party platform he will run to actualise his dream.
It was however gathered that Ubah is already exhibiting an unrestrained ambition to succeed Governor Peter Obi as it was reported that he said he was ready to finance his ambition with about N20b with a mix of philanthropy through a foundation in his home state.
THE CITIZEN was further informed that Ubah, who is frantically consulting several advisers to enable him wriggle out of the public backlash which is said to have trailed the numerous newspaper adverts he placed celebrating his purported earlier exoneration by the police; while his business empire is riddled with debts to individuals and institutions, is presently lobbying the Presidency to avert fresh arrest.
His recent travails is coming on the heels of the request by the Debt Management Office (DMO) to the police through the Special Fraud Unit to clarify alleged discrepancies contained in the police report which stated that it investigated the Capital Oil boss on 13 transactions worth N24b as against 26 deals totalling N43b which was recommended by the presidential committee.
Earlier in the year, the Petroleum Products Pricing Regulatory Agency (PPPRA) had excluded Capital Oil and Gas Limited from the list of approved companies to import fuel into the country.
According to PPPRA, Capital Oil and five others were de-listed because they lacked financial buoyancy to finance the importation of fuel into the country. It also added that the companies missing from the list were indebted to the Assets Management Company of Nigeria (AMCON).
Recalling its relationship with Capital Oil, the Managing Director of AMCON, Mustapha Chike-Obi, said that Capital Oil was indebted to the corporation to the tune of N65b and the Oil chief executive had reneged on at least two agreements with AMCON to offset the liabilities.
He stated that AMCON was determined to recover the monies owed the corporation by Ubah and his companies, though it had vacated the premises of Capital Oil after initially foreclosing it in respect of the debts.
Chike-Obi however expressed fears that with the level of the debt profile of Ubah and his company, it was uncertain if all the creditors would recover their investments.
But, the President of Coscharis Group, Dr. Cosmas Maduka, has vowed to 'collect my money to the last kobo'. It was gathered that Coscharis Group had entered into a joint venture with Capital Oil to import and distribute petrol and that both companies had obtained a loan from Access Bank to finance the deal.
It was however alleged that Capital Oil diverted the imported product, which Maduka claimed 'made the repayment of the facility schedules to come from sales proceeds impossible', said to be about N21b exposure to Access bank. The matter is now being resolved in a court of law.
In October last year, Ubah and seven other management staff of his company were in police custody for 14 days on suspicions of economic sabotage, money laundering, stealing and obtaining money by false pretence, by claiming that Capital Oil and Gas Industries Ltd had imported and sold 538,74 million litres of Premium Motor Spirit (PMS) in 26 transactions in 2011. It was alleged that Capital Oil did not deliver fuel but falsified documents to prove delivery of the product.
The police claimed that the alleged fraud came to light following the findings and recommendations of the 15-man Presidential Committee on Verification and Reconciliation of Fuel Subsidy Payments led by the Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer of Access Bank Plc, Mr. Aigboje Aig-Imoukhuede.
All efforts to contact the Force Deputy Spokesman, Mr Frank Mbah proved abortive.