26 July 2013, Abuja – The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, and two others lost on Thursday in their bid to prosecute the Managing Director of Capital Oil and Gas Limited, Patrick Ifeanyi Ubah and his company in respect of allegation of petroleum subsidy fraud.
A Federal High Court in Abuja faulted a recent invitation sent to them by the EFCC and granted an order restraining the commission, the Inspector General of Police (IGP) and the Attorney General of the Federation (AGF) from moving against the two over the subsidy issue.
The order of perpetual injunction was made by Justice A. Abdul-Kafarati while ruling on a fundamental rights enforcement suit filed by Ubah and his company.
The judge upheld the applicants’ arguments and granted four out of the five prayers they raised in the suit, which challenged the decision of the EFCC to reinvestigate the complaint that Ubah and his company were involved in the petroleum subsidy fraud.
Ubah and his company had argued that it was wrong for the EFCC, IGP, AGF and any other agency of the government to want to prosecute them on the same issue which a Federal High Court, FHC, in Lagos had exonerated them by virtue of its February 18, 2013 judgment in suit number: FHC/CS/07/2013 and a report by the House of Representatives committee which investigated the fuel subsidy fraud.
They also relied on a letter dated February 12, 2013 written by the Police Special Fraud Unit, D Department to the Minister of Finance, clearing them of any criminal complicity in the allegation of subsidy fraud made against them.
Justice Abdul-Kafarati declared that the February 18 judgment, the House of Representatives’ committee report and the police letter of February 12 “collectively tantamount to a complete and final exoneration of any criminal offence with regard to application for receipt of subsidy payment under the Federal Government of Nigeria Petroleum Support Fund (PSF) scheme.”
– The Nation