THE Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) on Thursday told Justice Mohammed Idris of a Federal High Court in Lagos that the detained Managing Director of Capital Oil and Gas Limited, Patrick Ifeanyi Ubah committed economic sabotage.
Ubah had approached Justice Idris, seeking an order compelling the DSS to release him unconditionally.
Respondents in the suit are: the Attorney-General of the Federation (AGF), The Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Director-General of the Department of State Security, Department of State Security (DSS), the Inspector-General of Police (IGP), Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), NNPC Retail Limited, and Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria (AMCON).
Counsel to the NNPC, K T Turaki (SAN), asked the court to throw out the Motion on Notice filed by the Capital Oil and Gas boss which is praying the court to set him free from the custody of the DSS.
The counsel argued that the Corporation had in the past two years went through investigations with particular reference to that of fuel diversion.
The SAN further contended that the NNPC is under obligation to notify the investigating agencies as to where the fuel was kept.
The SAN maintained that the security agencies have the inherent powers under the Constitution to investigate Economic crimes, which diversion of petroleum product is one of them.
Questioning the jurisdiction of Justice Idris to entertain the matter, the NNPC through its counsel noted that all the Infringements allegedly committed by the plaintiff took place in Abuja, and not in Lagos.
The SAN consequently prayed the court to refuse jurisdiction on the case and throw out the application of the applicant.
On his part, lawyer to the Department of State Securiry, Peter Okerinmade, requested that the court should dismiss the application of the plaintiff on the reason that the court does not have the jurisdiction to look into the suit.
In adopting the counter affidavit and preliminary objection filed by the DSS, Okerinmade insisted that the motion initiated by Ubah is only intended at frustrating the ongoing investigation on the allegation made against him by the NNPC.
The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission through its counsel, A M Ocholi contended that going through the affidavit filed by the applicant, there was no where it was raised that the rights of Ubah had been breached by the anti-graft agency.
But lawyer to the detained Ubah, Isioma Esom, urged the court to discountenance all the objections raised by the respondents.
She revealed that the main and the only reason why the oil magnate is being harassed by the first to sixth respondents are on the allegation that he is indebted to the NNPC.
Esom equally told the court that the said debt arose from a contract, which she said should have nothing to do with criminal offence.
The lawyer argued that the NNPC currently owes her client’s firm, Capital Oil and Gas Limited the sum of N10 billion and $8 million USD, and her client never reported to any security agency.
Esom equally made known to the court that Ubah was arrested on two occasions in Lagos and kept at the Shangisha’s custody of the DSS before being transferred to Abuja.
She subsequently prayed the court to issue an order, directing the DSS to release Ubah unconditionally or in the alternative, admit him to bail, pending the conclusion of the matter.
The case has been adjourned until May 25, 2017 for ruling.