For obvious reasons, Capital Oil boss, Ifeanyi Ubah, was in the news last week. It was not as if he recently added another oil tanker to his fleet or even opened another filling station. But he shocked the majority of his competitors when he issued a press statement disassociating him from the strike embarked upon by oil marketers. As expected, his action immediately sparked off a lot of reactions from different quarters. While some applauded him, some simply dismissed it as nothing but a Greek Gift.
Society Happenings gathered that the Anambra State-born businessman had only done that as a decoy to court the attention of the in-coming administration. In the view of many, Ubah had taken that decision to score a point in view of the prevailing circumstance, hoping the new administration will gloss over his past ‘sin’. He is alleged to have been involved in fuel subsidy scam which, according to reports, has been swept under the carpet by the Goodluck Jonathan administration.
Society Happenings further gathered that since the alleged fraud in 2011, Capital Oil had been allegedly banned by the Petroleum Products Pricing Regulatory Agency (PPPRA) from the list of approved companies to import fuel into the country and had ceased to be a member of Major Oil Marketers Association of Nigeria (MOMAN). Consequently, he was not supposed to benefit from the N200 billion claim by oil marketers.
We were also informed that he was able to play out his card based on his Depot and Petroleum Products Marketers Association (DAPMAN) membership. According to information, having also struck a deal with the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), he was said to have let out his depot to the NNPC since the beginning of the crisis.
“The fuel he distributed belonged to NNPC. He only rented tankers to distribute fuel,” a source said.
Other members of DAPMAN, Society Happenings gathered, kicked against his move and threatened to deal with him on the grounds that he didn’t carry them along before taking that decision.
“Not that DAPMAN blamed him for what he did, but he should have followed due process. They are angry that he didn’t carry them along before pulling out,” the source added.
Ifeanyi Ubah’s Capital Oil & Gas was one of the companies reportedly indicted by the Presidential Committee on Verification and Reconciliation of Fuel Subsidy Payments led by the then Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer of Access Bank Plc., Mr. Aigboje Aig-Imoukhuede. It will be recalled that in 2014, he exhibited an unrestrained ambition to succeed Governor Peter Obi. In the quest to realise his governorship ambition, he reportedly spent billions of naira. He, however, later wormed himself into the heart of ex-President Goodluck Jonathan with the Transformation Ambassadors of Nigeria (TAN). Following the launch of TAN, he claimed he had secured 18 million signatures that would ensure Jonathan’s victory. But this was not to be, as Jonathan suffered defeat in the hand of General Muhammad Buhari of the APC in the March 28 presidential election.