The Department of State Services (DSS) has said that chief executive officer of Capital Oil, Ifeanyi Ubah, committed an economic sabotage punishable by death for allegedly diverting about 80 million liters of Premium Motor Spirit (PMS) also known as petrol, kept in his custody by the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC).
The agency on Tuesday, May 23, in a counter-affidavit to Ubah’s application asking a High Court of the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja to order his release from detention, stated that Ubah’s action could plunge the country into widespread scarcity of PMS and economic chaos.
The agency accused Ubah of plotting to plunge the nation into economic and social crisis by creating artificial scarcity of petroleum product.
It said Ubah shunned NNPC’s repeated demands for the product estimated to be worth N11bn in order to cause artificial scarcity of the product, The Punch reports.
“The respondent refused to return the PMS to the NNPC after repeated demands. The PMS is worth over N11bn. The action of the respondent is affecting the distribution of petroleum products to the populace.
“The action of the respondent is sabotage of NNPC’s activities as it relates to the distribution of petroleum products. If not for the urgent steps taken by the Federal Government, the action of the respondent would have plunged the country into widespread scarcity with its attendant effect on the economy.
“Petroleum is the lifeblood of the Nigerian economy. NNPC is a major stakeholder in the petroleum industry in Nigeria. An attack on the Nigerian economy is an economic threat to national security dimension.
“The Nigerian populace will suffer untold hardship if NNPC is unable to discharge its statutory responsibilities, including distribution of petroleum products as well as generating revenue for the country.
“The action of the respondent, if not checked, is capable of undermining the NNPC in the discharge of its duties. Investigation into the activities of the respondent is yet to be completed. A premature released of the respondent will adversely impact on the investigation, which is nearing completion,” the agency said.
Earlier, Ubah had applied to the court to set aside the detention order, on the grounds that the court was misled by the DSS, which allegedly suppressed material facts from the court.
Arguing his lawyer, Mrs. Ifeoma Esom, prayed the court to either set aside its order of May 10 or order the businessman’s release on the grounds that his continued detention was unjustifiable.
Meanwhile, the acting chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has said those actually destroying the war against corruption under President Muhammadu Buhari are the same people elected to protect the public and the poor, Ibrahim Magu, acting chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).
Magu, who addressed a crowd at an EFCC stakeholders’ walk in Abuja, revealed that those in authority were frustrating the war against corruption.
Voice of Ndigbo learnt that Magu also condemned calls from some quarters that the EFCC should not prosecute or focus on punishing politically-exposed persons.