EFCC Arrests Ifeanyi Ubah over N43b subsidy scam

* Drags Reps to court over Turaki’s N36b fraud surety

By Soni Daniel and Enyim Enyim

Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, Tuesday, arrested the Managing Director of Capital Oil and Gas Industries Limited, Mr. Ifeanyi Ubah, for allegedly defrauding the Federal Government of over N43 billion under the fuel subsidy fund.

He was later released on administrative bail. Ubah, who spoke with Vanguard on telephone, denied the incident, saying that his detractors cooked up the story to tarnish his hard-earned reputation.

A security source told Vanguard that Ubah was picked up from his Maitama mansion in Abuja and taken to EFCC’s head office, where he made a written statement before being released on bail later in the evening.

It was routine invitation— Ubah

Ubah said: “The invitation by EFCC is routine and there is nothing wrong about that. I drove them in my car to their office and we exchanged pleasantries and it lasted for more than 30 minutes and I left.

“So anybody who is claiming that I was arrested is only trying to smear my image and tell white lies. Those who have nothing doing dwell in rumours and hear- say and it does not speak well of them. I went there and they asked of the subsidy matter which both the police and the court had concluded and cleared me and you know that the court ordered that I should be paid compensation for damages. So after that I left- Does that mean that I was arrested?

He then urged his supporters and the people of Anambra State not be cowed by what he called the antics of enemies of the people adding that no amount of intimidation would stop him from rendering selfless services to the people.

Ifeanyi Uba

Ifeanyi Uba

This was even as a member of the House of Representatives from Jigawa State, Abubakar Bawa Bwari, was Monday summoned by the court to turn himself in following the failure of the former Jigawa Governor, Saminu Turaki, to appear in court and stand trial over his alleged stealing of N36 billion of state funds. Bwari reportedly stood surety for Turaki in court.

At EFCC, a source said the commission moved against Ubah following his failure to honour earlier invitations to answer questions on the subsidy fraud.

According to information, Ubah was first invited to meet with the operatives on April 11 but he failed, necessitating another invitation on April 19′ which he also spurned.

As at the time of filing the report, Ubah was said to be answering questions from the operatives at the Abuja office of the commission.
The arrest is believed to be part of the on-going investigation and prosecution of persons and organisations that allegedly defrauded the Nigerian government of about N1.7 trillion in dubious subsidy claim for the importation of premium motor spirit.

At the last count, more than 40 persons and organisations have been arraigned in court by the EFCC for their involvement in the monumental scam.

Wilson Uwujaren, spokesperson of the Commission confirmed the arrest but declined further comments.

When his firm was accused of taking money through fraudulent means last year, Ubah had accused the Chairman of the Presidential Committee on the Verification of Subsidy Claims, Mr. Aig Imuokhede, of bias and witch-hunting following what he called ‘failed business deal’ they had together.

But a 23-page report released by the Special Fraud Unit of the Police on November 5, 2012,   alleged that Capital Oil and Gas received N43,291 billion for the importation of 538.74 millions litres of fuel through forged documents.

The SFU report detailed how top government officials in the Petroleum Products Pricing and Regulating Agency, Nigerian Ports Authority, Department of Petroleum Resources and Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency colluded with the firm to cook up documents.

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