…Court orders DSS to produce Ubah, Friday
By Innocent Anaba, Udeme Akpan & Prince Okafor
lagos— The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC, and Capital Oil and Gas Industries Limited have disagreed over alleged N11 billion petroleum products theft.
Capital Oil launched an accusation against the NNPC, when it alleged that the corporation had over N16 billion outstanding debts to settle.
But the Group General Manager, Group Public Affairs Division of the NNPC, Mr. Ndu Ughamadu, disclosed in a telephone interview that Capital Oil’s narrative was a distraction from the main issue.
He stated that the issue at stake was not about indebtedness but petroleum products theft.
According to him, the NNPC has an arrangement to store its products with some oil marketers with adequate capacity, including MRS and Capital Oil.
Ughamadu, who noted that this was normal in the downstream business which should be subjected to regular reconciliation, said it was in the process of such reconciliation a few months ago that the NNPC was able to uncover the case of theft against the company.
“We had to report the case to DSS and EFCC because this case has to do with the stealing of our products. We could have taken the case to court, if it had to do with indebtedness.”
Capital Oil reacts
Reacting to NNPC’s allegation, Capital Oil stated in a statement yesterday: “The incarceration of our Chairman by DSS is unlawful, a disregard for the rule of law and a breach of Dr. Ifeanyi Ubah’s fundamental right to liberty, freedom of movement and association.
“For the avoidance of doubt and to put the records straight, NNPC owes Capital Oil & Gas Industries Limited over N16 billion, represented as follows: $5,540,000 (N2.2billion) — unpaid berthing fees for NNPC vessels that called at our jetty.
“$2,952,555 (N1billion) —invoice for chartered vessels to carryout STS operations Lagos offshore to ferry product (PMS) to storage at the request of NNPC since 2015.
“N1.170billion— amount owed to Capital Oil & Gas Industries Ltd for throughput services from March to October 2016. N3.146billion: payment made to NNPC for 26,820m litres of PMS vide Pro-forma Invoice No. 53598 which is yet to be delivered to us.”
Court orders DSS to produce Ubah
Meanwhile, Justice Muhammed Idris of a Federal High Court sitting in Lagos, has ordered the Department of State Service, DSS, to produce Mr Ifeanyi Ubah to show why he (Ubah) should not be released unconditionally.
The trial judge gave the ruling in ex-parte application by Mr. Ubah’s counsel, Mrs. Ifeoma Esom, to compel the release of Ubah from the DSS’s custody where he had been since Saturday, May 6, 2017.
According to the affidavit deposed to by George Oranuba, Secretary of Capital Oil and Gas Limited, it averred that DSS acted in disregard for the “the constitutional doctrine of separation of power and sanctity of the judicial process.”
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