The Department of State Services (DSS), on Thursday, in Abuja, interrogated the Group Managing Director of Capital Oil and Gas Limited, Ifeanyi Ubah, over the claim by the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) that it had N11bn worth of Premium Motor Spirit stored in Ubah’s firm’s facility.
The NNPC had written both the DSS and the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), asking them to help it to recover the said amount.
It said it stored the PMS with the amount in the facilities of Capital Oil and Gas Limited.
The NNPC alleged that the product was stored in the facility under a special arrangement, which it claimed was breached by the former governorship candidate of the Labour Party in Anambra State.
The corporation claimed that Ubah sold the product without its permission.
Our correspondent gathered that some officials of the corporation were also at the meeting where Ubah was questioned at the headquarters of the DSS in Asokoro, Abuja.
Security sources said Ubah was earlier invited to the DSS office on Monday where he was also asked to provide answers to the issues raised by the NNPC.
The source added, “We invited him based on the petition by the NNPC on the issue of selling of fuel and all that.
“He was with us on Monday and was also here today (Thursday) and we have been able to get to some level on the issue, but we are continuing with our investigations.
“When he came on Monday, we discussed what happened and he said there were documents to back up his own claim, because he told us that the corporation is also owing him.
“We therefore asked him to return on Thursday with the documents to back up his claim, which he did.
“We are continuing with our investigations, but we have asked all parties to go home because it was not only Ubah that was questioned or was here.”
The NNPC had stated in a statement by its Group General Manager, Public Affairs Division, Ndu Ughamadu, in Abuja some days ago that the politician’s company failed to remit the money as agreed.
Ughamadu, in the said statement, explained that the corporation’s Chief Operating Officer, Downstream, Henry Ikem-Obih, gave details of how the alleged infraction was uncovered by the NNPC earlier in the year.
Ikem-Obih had said, “We instructed the Nigerian Products Marketing Company a subsidiary of the NNPC, to send additional trucks to those locations to move products for distribution aimed at meeting a supply shortfall we discovered in the market, but after days of not being able to access the terminals, we had to take a decision as NNPC management to invite auditors and inspectors to go and do a physical check on the inventories.”
Meanwhile, Ubah confirmed being invited by the DSS with respect to debts owed the NNPC and a legal issue with the Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria.
He said he had written to the Senate and the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission on the matter prior to the invitation by the DSS.
Ubah, in telephone interview said the DSS was helping to resolve the issue, which had added had been blown out of proportion in some quarters.
He said, “We want to salvage the situation and save the jobs of over 2,000 people. I am currently reconciling my account with all the parties concerned. I’m owing the NNPC and the NNPC is also owing me. My over three years old case with AMCON is also being looked into.”
Ubah’s Chief of Staff, Chiedozie Udogu, said his principal had been going to the DSS since Monday.
“Yes, it was true that he was at the DSS office, but he was not detained. He went there for the reconciliation of account with the NNPC.
“The DSS is mediating in the trade dispute with the two parties. Therefore, it is nothing to be worried about,” he stated.