Ifeanyi Ubah, the 45 year old billionaire mogul behind Capital Oil and Gas, detained by the Department of State Security since Friday, May 5, 2017, begins his fourth week in incarceration on allegations of theft of N11.1 billion, economy sabotage and threat to national security.
The bulky businessman was picked up on May 5 for allegedly selling products of Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation kept in his custody.
NNPC claimed that petroleum products in the tank farms of Capital Oil and Gas, about 84,891,730 litres worth N11,144,586,314:40, was diverted by the tycoon. And appeals to ‘return’ the products were ignored, leading to the arrest.
First arrested on March 24, he was released on April 14, 2017. He was again picked up on May 5, 2017.
On Thursday, May 25, 2017, his dilemma was compounded as two courts with concurrent powers ordered his release and continued detention.
In Lagos, Justice Mohammed Idris of Federal High Court in Lagos ordered his release within 48 hours if he’s not brought for trial in a competent court.
And in Abuja, at another Federal High Court, Justice Yusuf Halilu, ordered his continued detention for another 14 days.
The DSS had first approached a Federal High Court in Abuja which ordered his detention for 14 days on May 10.
As staffers and activists protest his incarceration, the DSS escalated his offence to threat to national security and economic sabotage which attract death penalty.
While some lawyers argue that the matter is purely civil, and that the oil mogul is himself being owed about N16 billion by NNPC, Ifeanyi Ubah is being blamed for not seeking arbitration before selling products of his ‘debtor.’