The Department of State Services (DSS) has alleged that Ifeanyi Ubah, Capital Oil boss, diverted about 80 million litres of petrol.
The product worth N11 billion was said to have been kept in Ubah’s custody by the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC).
The agency said the oil mogul failed to respond to NNPC’s repeated demand for the product in order to cause an artificial petrol scarcity, which could cause a major economic crisis in the country.
The DSS said Ubah’s action amounts to economic sabotage punishable by death.
The agency stated this in a counter-affidavit and written submissions filed in opposition to an application by Ubah, asking a High Court of the Federal Capital Territory in Jabi, Abuja to set aside an order for his detention for 14 days.
On May 10, 2017, Justice Yusuf Halilu granted an order to the DSS allowing the agency to keep Ubah in custody for 14 days pending the completion of an ongoing criminal investigation against him.
The DSS counsel, Mr. G. Agbadua, told Justice Halilu on Tuesday, May 23, that Ubah was plotting to plunge the nation into economic and social crisis by creating artificial scarcity of petroleum product.
The agency’s counter-affidavit reads, “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.
“The respondent refused to return the PMS to 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 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. ”
Ubah, who has been in the custody of the DSS since April, was to be arraigned at the Abuja court on Tuesday (today).
But the agency again failed to produce the oil boss in court, hence his trial has been stalled.