The protracted business disagreement between Nigeria National
Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) and Dr Ifeanyi Ubah, the director of Capital Oil and Gas has taken a new twist, as the Nigerian government through the Directorate of Security Services (DSS) has forced Ubah to sign away some of his assets, denouncing being owed by NNPC and paying billions of Naira to unconfirmed bank account(s).
In telephone inquiries Hope For Nigeria was informed about clandestine agreement Ifeanyi Uba was forced to endorse
stating that he or his company are no longer owed N16 billion by the NNPC and N26.5 billion by AMCON. In a consent judgement delivered by a Federal High Court in 2013, Capital Oil was awarded the above sum against AMCON.
The DSS also forced him to transfer N2 billion to a yet to be
ascertained bank account, Hope For Nigeria is still digging to find out if this fund was transferred to NNPC, DSS or into private pockets.Ubah was also forced to signed documents transferring some of his businesses and assets to the Nigerian government.
The media shy and self-made billionaire, according to Hope For
Nigeria, was arrested on May 05, 2017, by the DSS on accusation of selling the Premium Motor Spirit (commonly called petrol) stored in his Tank Farm to upset some of the funds owed to him by the NNPC and allegedly inciting members of the Petroleum Tanker Drivers to embark on strike because of his disagreement with the NNPC.
In a swift reaction, Comrade Mohammed Abulkadir, the Media officer of Petroleum Tanker Drivers (PTD) an offshoot of the National Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers faulted the DSS allegation that Ifeanyi Ubah infiltrated the ranks of the PTD in order to induce a strike over his face-off, describing the accusation as inaccurate and regrettable.
On DSS’s second allegation, which stated that Dr Ifeanyi Ubah
illegally diverted about 84 million litres of PMS that was kept in his custody by the NNPC, valued at N11billion. Capital Oil and Gas has clarified that they were constraint to sell the products, as NNPC has refused to pay their over due debt including rent, which has lingered for over 18 months.
Capital Oil after failed efforts to recover their debts from the NNPCRetail Services, petitioned government agencies including the national Assembly and the EFCC for them to pressure the NNPC to pay the debt, as some of the funds in question were financial obligations and the interests and capital repayments are weighing much on the cash flow and operation of their business.
In simple terms, according to Hope For Nigeria, the commercial
transaction is between NNPC Retails Services and Capital Oil and Gas, not NNPC Retail Services with Ifeanyi Ubah. Arresting Ifeanyi Ubah makes nonsense of the fact that a company is a legal entity and different from its owners. Capital Oil is a legal entity on its own right that NNPC or DSS (a no interest party in this case) can sue, not Ifeanyi Ubah, a director or anyone working with Capital Oil. Capital Oil and Gas is an Going Concern and it is only in the event of the contrary, that is if Capital Oil is no longer trading, then the directors or any high profile staff can be sued in relation to the
activities or individual stewardship while working for the company.
“We have an ongoing relationship and we need to sit down and reconcile our accounts,” “NNPC has a subsisting contract with our company which is on throughput basis. The corporation has consistently been in breach of our contractual agreement by owing us money for services
Sequel to a telephone interview by Hope For Nigeria to NNPC officers at their corporation’s headquarter, they confirmed the suspicions of Nigerians that the arrest and detention is not related to their business transaction, but politicians who are not comfortable with Ifeanyi Ubah, especially his ownership of a Strategic Petroleum Reserve (Tank farm) facility that supplies more than half of Nigeria’s fuel need. They went further to state that Ifeanyi Ubah’s captors best option is to level frivolous allegations of fraud on him and to dispose him of the ownership of the facility using the DSS as the
transaction reconciliation meeting going on between the NNPC Retail Services and Capital Oil which the DSS, the Nigerian secret police hosted. The two party have stated their indebtedness to other, although their are need for proper scrutiny to ascertain the actual debt.
They reconfirmed that the value of NNPC’s PMS deposited in Capital Oil’s facility is about N11billion and express displeasure on the fact that Capital Oil has being assisting NNPC during the high demand periods by giving them PMS which they usually pays them later and some payments my be outstanding and there is no need for the government or whatever interest group to have given him this kind of treatment.
Capital Oil’s Right to Sell Petrol Stored In Their Tank Farm.
They are entitled to exercise the lien when services they rendered remains unpaid and in so doing will gain legal control over the goods.
For nearly a month, Ifeanyi Ubah is locked up by the DSS in a
commercial transaction between two entities. If NNPC feels that
Capital Oil defaulted in any of their agreements, their best option is to go to court, not intimidating the director of Going Concern company with state security apparatus.
Hope For Nigeria still believe that Mr. Lawal Daura, the
Director-General of the Directorate of State Security (DSS), was not properly briefed on this development or was misinformed by
over-zealous government officials that wanted a pound of flesh from Ifeanyi Ubah. We are certain that now the DSS boss is fully aware of what transpired, the onus is on him is to ensure that Mr Ubah should be allowed to go home to give him and NNPC Retails Services to complete their reconciliation.