Ifeanyi Ubah may serve a death penalty for diverting millions of PMS from NNPC
Ifeanyi Ubah, Chief Executive Officer of Capital Oil and Gas Limited has been accused by the Directorate of State Security (DSS) of diverting about 80 million liters of Premium Motor Spirit (Petrol), kept in custody of Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation.
The DSS mentioned that the Capital Oil and Gas Limited boss refused several demands by the NNPC for the PMS which is worth N11B to cause artificial scarcity.
More details reveal that Ubah’s decision was capable of causing nationwide scarcity of petrol and could induce economic problems.
The act is labeled as an economic sabotage which according to the government agency is punishable by a death sentence.
These details were mentioned in counter-affidavit and written submission filed by the DSS in opposition to an application by Ubah. The latter applied that a High Court in the FCT Jabi, Abuja should revoke an order for his 14 days custody.
On the 10th of May, Justice Yusuf Halilu gave orders to the DSS to hold Ubah in custody for 2 weeks until criminal investigations conducted against him were completed.
Justice Yusuf Halilu was briefed by the DSS lawyer, MR G. Agbadua that the suspect was planning to throw the country into economic chaos and social crisis by causing artificial scarcity of PMS.
“The respondent (Ubah) was arrested on reasonable suspicion of his involvement in the commission of crime. He converted PMS, belonging to the NNPC, kept in the custody of his tank farm, to his personal use. Mr Safwan Bello of the DSS stated in a counter-affidavit.
“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. The 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.”
Mr. Agbadua in a written which was used on Tuesday’s hearing asserts that the diversion of petroleum product by Ubah cannot only be termed as stealing, but should be seen as a way to handicap the country’s economy.
The Lawyer mentioned that the criminal act deserved a death penalty under the Petroleum Production and Distribution (Anti-Sabotage) Act, 2004.