The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation on Thursday prayed Justice Mohammed Idris of the Federal High Court in Lagos not to accept the suit by the Managing Director of Capital Oil and Gas Limited, Ifeanyi Ubah, seeking to be released from the custody of the Department of State Security (DSS).
NNPC accused Ubah and his company of deliberate refusal to return to it 84,891,730 litres of Premium Motor Spirit (PMS) valued at N11, 144,586,314.40, which Ubah and his company allegedly diverted.
It said despite writing Ubah and his company to return the product or pay the money, they had “deliberately failed, refused and/or neglected to do so.”
This was the argument of NNPC counsel, K.T. Turak (SAN), before Justice Idris on Thursday when the matter came up in court.
NNPC said Ubah’s alleged fraud was uncovered when its books were being checked. It added that Ubah was aware that the NNPC had been under “serious scrutiny, investigation and financial audit of its various accounts and daily productions” since the beginning of the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari.
It said the development in the sector was aimed at “stopping leakages in revenue and non-remittance of proceeds from the sale of petroleum products.”
NNPC added, “Consequent upon the above development, the 7th respondent (NNPC) carried out stock physicalisation of operators’ storage facilities including those of the applicants (Capital Oil and Ubah).”
It said that the DSS arrested and detained Ubah pursuant to the security agency’s mandate to stop leakages and recover government revenue.
Ubah has been in DSS custody since May 6.
Meanwhile the DSS also on Thursday, urged Justice Idris to sack Ubah’s suit, arguing that Ubah was being detained on the order of Justice Y. Haliru of the High Court of the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja.
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