By Akinwale Kasali
For the second time in less than two months, Capital Oil boss and former Gubernatorial Candidate of Labour Party in the 2013 Anambra State election, Dr. Ifeanyi Ubah, has been arrested by the State Security Service, SSS, has arrested on allegation of “economic sabotage”.
The SSS says that Ubah was detained on Friday in connection to missing petroleum products.
“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),” the SSS said in a statement Saturday.
“So far, it has been established that the products stolen amount to over Eleven Billion Naira (N11bn). There is no doubt that UBAH’s acts have the capacity to negatively impact on national economy.”
The fuel products, belonging to NNPC Retail, which was stored in the Capital Oil’s storage facilities in Lagos under a throughput arrangement, went missing under controversial circumstances.
In March, the Capital Oil and Gas boss reportedly visited the SSS office in Abuja, where he was held for days.
The Group Managing Director of the NNPC, Maikanti Baru, had said the corporation was committed to using all measures to fully recover the full value of the missing products.
Last month, four top NNPC officials were retired over the scandal.
Although Capital Oil disputes the figure given by the NNPC, the company has not come up with what the correct figure should be. The company says it has called for a reconciliation of debts owed the NNPC for products supplied since 2015.
In its statement, signed by Tony Opuiyo, the SSS said Mr. Ubah had further engaged “in other activities inimical to national security and public order”.
“In furtherance of his gimmicks to undermine the government and people of Nigeria, he has incited 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,” the statement said.
“This is 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.”