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Uba in tight corner, Has case to answer — Presidency, Finance

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THE impression oil mogul, Dr. Ifeanyi Uba is presently conveying is that of a free man. Uba, who lately has been in the eye of the storm after his indictment by the Presidential Committee on the Verification and reconciliation of Fuel Subsidy Payments, chaired by Aigboje Aig-Imoukhude, the Managing Director of Access Bank, as regard fuel subsidy procurement, and subsequent public confrontation with Dr. Cosmas Maduka of Coscharis Motors Limited regarding a Joint Venture arrangement with capital oil for the importation and sales of Premium Motor Spirit (PMS) also known as petrol through loan facility from Access Bank for an advancement of $290million, announced to the Nigerian public that he is in the clear as regard all the charges leveled against him

In the statement, the oil mogul declared that, “the Special Fraud Unit (SFU) of the Nigeria Police Force has cleared Ifeanyi Ubah and Capital Oil Gas Industries Limited of the indictments leveled against her by the Presidential Committee on the Verification and reconciliation of Fuel Subsidy Payments, chaired by Aigboje Aig-Imoukhude, the Managing Director of Access Bank. The clearance by the Police was contained in a letter dated February 12, 2013 written to the minister of Finance, a copy which was made available to us, the Inspector General of Police, Ministry of Petroleum Resources, Debt Management Office (DMO) and the Petroleum Products Pricing and Regulatory Agency (PPPRA). The Police investigation found that there is no inference of a prima facie case of the alleged offences against us.”

Facts filtering in are however to the contrary. Investigation revealed that the Aig-Imoukhude-led committee uncovered 24 infractions during their probe exercise and that Uba was cleared of 13 infractions, leaving 11 infractions.

Inside sources disclosed that the Managing Director of Access Bank Plc was forced, at a point, to seek audience with President Goodluck Jonathan during which he explained to him the real situation of things. Moreover separate petitions were reportedly forwarded to the Ministry of Finance and the Debt Management Office (DMO).

It was equally gathered that on going through the petition, the Minister of Finance, Prof. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala was not really impressed with Uba’s exploits. The two offices later agreed that Uba still has case to answer as regard his role in fuel importation.

The bubble burst for flambouyant Uba October last year when the news broke that the Police SFU has arrested Ifeanyi Uba over the involvement of his firm in a N22.4 billion subsidy fraud.

The arrest reports confirmed was triggered by his indicted in the report submitted by Mr. Aigboje Aig-Imoukhuede’s led 15-man Presidential Panel constituted by President Goodluck Jonathan to re-investigate the findings of the report of an earlier investigation panel indicted Capital Oil for fraud.

Findings revealed that Uba made a whooping N22.4 billion from the subsidy scam.

Details pointed to the fact that the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) allocated to Uba’s Capital Oil 75 per cent of kerosene supplies to distribute to the entire country at N50 pump price.

But the cheapest of the product at the depot is N120 per litre and N135 at the filling stations while Capital Oil makes more than N70 on each litre of kerosene sold.

National Daily learnt that Uba illegally made over N60 billion from payments from kerosene subsidy with his Capital Oil as the major player in the kerosene deals.

Sources hinted that Uba who made a payment plan of N2 billion with Asset management Corporation of Nigeria (AMCON) reneged severally and started playing hide and seek anytime the Mustapha Chike Obi led agency approaches him to pay up his debts.

Capital Oil is one of the firms which received dodgy payments running into billions of naira from the Petroleum Products Pricing and Regulatory Agency (PPPRA) on kerosene, petrol and diesel subsidy. Government paid a total sum of N3.655 trillion to beneficiaries of fuel subsidy between 2006 and 2011, while amount jumped to a whooping N1.426 trillion between January and August last year.

Investigations reveal that Uba is one of the most notorious subsidy scammers and has several collaborators. The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has already been mandated to investigate all the subsidy beneficiaries, which include Oando, Integrated Oil and Gas, MRS, AA Rano. A-Z Petroleum, ASB, Arcon Oil, African Petroleum, Aminu resources, Con Oil, Avante Guard, Avido, Boffas and Brila Energy.

Other are D Jones Petroleum, Downstream Energy, Dosil Oil Inco Ray, Eternal, Folawiyo Energy, Frado International, First Deepwater, Heden Oil, Honeywell Petrol, AMP, Channel Oil, Fort Oil, Bovas, Obat Oil, Ipman Investment, Atio Oil, AMP, and Ernac Oil.

Then, Uba’s charge sheet before a Tinubu, Lagos Chief Magistrate’s Court sworn to by a Chief Superintendent of Police, Francis A. Idu and filed before the court by a police legal officer, Effiong Asuquo read that “The suspects as senior company executives of Capital Oil and Gas Limited, fraudulently and with intention to defraud, obtained a total sum of N43.291 billion from the Federal Government of Nigeria by falsely pretending that it imported and sold 538.7 million litres of petroleum during the 2011 fiscal year through 26 transactions.”

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