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What does Ubah want?

By Lilian Onajide

The hearing that the House of Representatives Committee on Public Petitions scheduled for Thursday, December 6, could not hold. The absence of two very relevant parties in the petition that Chief Ifeanyi Ubah, chairman and chief executive officer of Capital Oil and Gas Limited filed, which necessitated the public hearing – Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, minister of finance and Mr. Aig-Imoukhuede, managing director of Access – forced the House committee to reschedule the hearing for Thursday, December 13.

From information that is available in the public domain, Ubah wants the National Assembly to determine if it is morally in order for the Access Bank chief executive to head the presidential panel on the oil subsidy probe, when his bank is an interested party in the exercise, considering the fact that the bank is involved in the payment of subsidy claims by fuel importers. Ubah says the bank is also an interested party because it funded the fuel importation business that his company and the Coscharis Group jointly executed, which has now become a subject of litigation in Nigerian and United Kingdom courts.

From what transpired at the botched public hearing last week, it was obvious that the House committee was not properly briefed on what the Capital Oil chairman wants. For, it was clear that the lawmakers were trying to discuss a matter that is already in court, a point that lawyers representing Mr. Cosmas Maduka, chairman and chief executive officer of Coscharis, made clear. They have asked for all the relevant papers on the tripartite transactions involving Capital Oil, Coscharis and Assess Bank, apparently to guide them in their deliberations on Thursday. The same papers are currently with the courts.

If indeed Ubah wants the legislative arm of government to determine the appropriateness or otherwise of having Aig-Imokhuede preside on a panel that handles and assignment in which he is an interested party, the question arises as to what business Maduka has with the House committee, as far as his petition is concerned, to warrant his appearance before it. The Coscharis chairman did not set up the presidential panel, nor did he appoint the Access Bank managing director into the panel. If Ubah has any issues with Aig-Imokhuede's membership and headship of the panel, is it not proper he makes the cause of his grouse very clear?

At the hearing that did not hold proper, Ubah repeated his orchestrated allegation of a gang-up for the purpose of taking over his business. So, what is the House committee expected to deliberate on? Is it the inappropriateness of having Aig-Imokhuede on the panel? Is it the supposed attempt to take over his business? Is it the current freezing of his company's assets, which was ordered by courts of competent jurisdiction? Is it the fuel shortages being experienced in the country, which he claims the continued closure of his company's premises has engendered? Is it the payment of his subsidy claims?

What, really, is Maduka's interest in all this? Or, put it the other way round, who is the aggrieved party in what has come to be known as the Maduka/Ubah feud, for which the latter wants the intervention of the law makers? I thought that if there was one person who should cry blue murder, that person is Maduka. He, it was, who took a loan to finance a fuel importation business that sailed into troubled waters. He, it is, who is currently fighting to extricate himself from a debt burden that sees him cough out almost 400 million naira as interest every month, with the debt profile now in the region of 21 billion naira. It is an issues courts in two countries are trying to resolve This makes one wonder how far the House committee can go in the task that Ubah has saddled it with.

It is interesting to note that Ubah has advanced so many reasons to explain his current travails. If it is not that competitors (including his kinsman?) are envious of his soar-away success, it is that he is being hunted because he has broken the barrier of ethnicity to succeed in a foreign and hostile environment, that is, besides the earlier mentioned allegation of attempt to take over his business.

The public hearing may not go beyond the propaganda that Ubah seeks, to draw public attention to the crisis. One only hopes that the courts would speedily resolve a matter that has inflicted pain on the three principal parties in the transaction.

Onajide lives in Abuja

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Your Comment

EDET OBONG | 12/12/2012 3:29:00 PM
mr ubah, is just trying to put on a freak show to toil with the public,pointing fingers to people with higher reputations just to seek good fate. But he, his not relishing the fact that at this junction, the hearing by the house of reps on this issue of moral and ethical deification is of no good but just another propaganda on the agenda of a deceitful and dubious craftsman.
Elijah mobolaji | 12/12/2012 4:01:00 PM
Really we are watching a battle whose end is certainly not in sight. Foundation ally,in a business trend,Mr maduka is a shrewd,calculating business man who always thinks twice before taking an risk.And as a matter of fact,he calculates the risks,weighs the benefit before taking the plunge.A man with good business acumen. I don't think Mr maduka deserves to be pull down by a deceitful personality.
Jonathan Goodluck | 12/14/2012 12:05:00 PM
The same question i still ask myself. Onajide your perception into this matter shows that you are in support of Ubah's actions. From my point of view, I think Ubah should focus on one thing alone which is telling the Nigerian public really happened to last consignment. This irrational statement of people trying to take over business through Maduka is false and he should be condemned for such outrageous statement.
EDET OBONG | 12/14/2012 12:18:00 PM
With the cause of this on going feud between ifeanyi ubah and cosmos makuda, only time will tell if the chairman of capital oil has nothing to do with the kidnapping of the mother or Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala the finance minister, holding her as a form of collateral in the exchange of his frozen assets…
Adewaletj | 12/14/2012 12:25:00 PM
There is no doubt that oil and gas is a unique business that you can not go into without a strong capital base; you need a lot of capital. Now if Mr Maduka has decided to give Ubah a benefit of doubt by helping him financially, I see no reason why Ubah should be so inconsiderate and wicked.
bukky | 12/14/2012 12:50:00 PM
Ifeanyi ubah"s integrity is shallow. Maduka will never take a risk he can never discount. my advise is Ifeanyi Ubah should pay Maduka back is money .
Big Mouth | 12/14/2012 2:03:00 PM
I thought the story of kinsmen betrayal was a thing of the past but entire hullabaloo about the failed business transaction that took place between Cosmos Maduka and Ifeanyi Ubah is just another heart breaking betrayal tale that has just started but no one really know were it would eventually end.
mrs bukky Adeyemi | 12/14/2012 2:15:00 PM
The genesis of the current discord is a loan purported collected from access bank by Cosmos Maduka for his kinsman Ifeanyi Ubah to salvage his business. This has been denied by Ifeanyi Ubah who claims he did not take any facilities from access bank.
adams | 12/14/2012 2:06:00 PM
i dont see ubah going squart free with this issue cos its glearing that he just played a dirty game with whom his not surpose to deal with....
adams02 | 12/14/2012 3:07:00 PM
everyone who read this would always want to be careful with helping people who are even much closer to them cos ubah has really left a bad record...
adewale olabisi | 12/17/2012 4:02:00 PM
I can imagine how lunatic ubah his;i mean for special fraud unit(SFU)to as detain him at one ime before in there custody.Now he is fighting so despirately hard to clean up his spoilt reputation.