The Federal Government may prosecute oil magnate, Ifeanyi Ubah, who is currently being detained by the Department of State Services.
Ubah, who was interrogated some weeks ago by the secret police, was again re-arrested on Friday in Abuja, over his alleged engagement in acts which the security outfit described as inimical to national security.
The DSS stated in a statement signed by its spokesperson, Mr. Tony Opuiyo, on Saturday, that Ubah had refused to return the money he allegedly got from selling of oil to the Federal Government.
It was, however, not certain if Ubah had returned part of the money or not.
Ubah, who is the Managing Director of Capital Oil and Gas Limited, was accused of stealing, diversion and illegal sale of petroleum products stored in his tank farm by the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation.
Opuiyo put the cost of the oil at more than N11bn, adding that such an act was impacting negatively on the national economy.
He said the arrest and the detention of Ubah was sequel to the power given the DSS to investigate economic crimes relating to national security.
A security source told our correspondent that the Federal Government would take the former governorship candidate of Labour Party in Anambra State to court over the issue.
The source said, “The man is likely going to be taken to court for economic sabotage.
“You can’t just take that money and think that you would be pardoned just because you have shifted loyalty to the present government.
“The government is considering all options. Whether you are a friend of the government or not, no responsible government would overlook such a serious crime.”
Ubah, who later left the LP for the then ruling Peoples Democratic Party, has also joined the ruling All Progressives Congress.
Opuiyo said in his statement that Ubah was arrested for economic crimes, which he said bothered on national security.
He said in the statement. “In line with the statutory mandate of the DSS to investigate economic crimes of national security dimension, the Service, on May 5, 2017, arrested Ifeanyi Ubah, Managing Director of Capital Oil and Gas Limited.
“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 NNPC.
“So far, it has been established that the products stolen amount to over N11bn. There is no doubt that Ubah’s acts have the capacity to negatively impact on national economy.”
The oil magnate was accused of inciting members of the Petroleum Tanker Drivers to embark on strike because of his (Ubah’s) investigation by the DSS.
Opuiyo said this was part of the plans by the detained businessman to curry the favour of the public and force the government from going on with the recovery of the funds in his care.
The statement said, “It is instructive to note that Ubah has 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, a critical player in the downstream sub-sector of the Petroleum Industry, to refuse/stop the lifting of products.
“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 are, in fact, a common knowledge. It is consequent upon this that the Service arrested and will prosecute him forthwith.”
Opuiyo said the DSS would collaborate with appropriate agencies to ensure that mischievous activities of any person or group(s) to engage in illegal activities would not affect the effective distribution of products across the country.
He added that the service would also support such agencies to bring to book individuals or companies involved in any criminal act that undermined the nation’s economy.
Efforts to get Ubah’s reaction by our correspondent were not successful on Saturday as his phones were switched off.