Illegal Petrol Sale: DSS, NNPC move to recover N11bn from Capital Oil

16 April 2017, Lagos – Following its conclusion of investigation into the sale without appropriate authorisation of 82 million litres of petrol valued at N11 billion by Capital Oil and Gas, the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) and Department of State Security (DSS) may have to force out a firm repayment plan from the management of Capital Oil, THISDAY has learnt.

Reliable sources within the corporation told THISDAY saturday in Abuja that this was the latest decision reached by the DSS and NNPC in an attempt to recover the petrol stock or it financial equivalent, which the NNPC kept under a throughput agreement with Capita Oil.

The firm was accused by NNPC of expropriating 82 million litres of petrol kept in its tank farm in Apapa area of Lagos. It subsequently denied that, but after a thorough investigation by the NNPC and subsequent sack of three of its officials found culpable in the act, THISDAY was reliably told that the Chairman of Capital Oil, Mr. Ifeanyi Ubah, had been in the custody of the DSS where he was expected to tender a firm repayment plan to the corporation and DSS.

Sharing with THISDAY the current state of the recovery efforts after the corporation sacked three of its staff members found culpable in the act, one of the sources said: “Once anybody is relieved of his appointment, it means that such person has been disengaged.

“But the issue now is with Capital Oil and for three weeks, its chairman has been with the DSS, and they are trying to extract a sort of repayment model from him.”

He further stated that, “The issue is basically between the company and the Federal Government because the product in question belongs to the government, and the order to keep him came from the presidency.”

“There are criminal and civil cases; this case is a criminal offence and that is why it is before the DSS, but as a business, businesses thrive on debt and NNPC may be owing the company and there could also be instances where the company is owing the corporation, but this is strictly a criminal matter because the company sold products that was kept in its custody, and the government is simply asking that it pays for what it sold.”

When contacted for comments on the repayment plan for Capital Oil, the Group General Manager, Public Affairs of NNPC, Mr. Ndu Ughamadu, told THISDAY that he could not immediately confirm the kind of demands being made on the company by the DSS and the corporation, but that the corporation was bent on recovering what it lost to it. According to him, “With this thorough measure, there won’t be such with this new management of NNPC that is really focused on recovering bad debts. The new administration in NNPC is bent on recovering old debts to the corporation.”

The NNPC had earlier in the week announced the sack of Mrs. Esther Nnamdi-Ogbue, who was the Managing Director, NNPC Retail Ltd; Mr. Alpha Mamza, who was Executive Director, Operations at NNPC Retail Ltd, and Mr. Oluwakayode Erinoso, who was also Manager of Distribution at NNPC Retail Ltd, for their culpabilities in the throughput fraud.

 

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