Nigeria’s secret police, the State Security Services, SSS, also known as DSS, has freed Ifeanyi Ubah, the managing director of Capital Oil and Gas Limited, after keeping him in detention for weeks.
According to Ikechukwu Onyia, an aide to the oil mogul, Dr. Ubah was released “unconditionally” on Monday night [June 19, 2017].
The businessman was arrested by the DSS on May 5, over alleged diversion of petrol kept in his tank farm in Lagos by the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC. He was accused of “economic sabotage” by the NNPC and they reported him to security agencies.
The DSS announced the arrest of the Capital Oil boss alleging that he diverted petroleum products worth N11 billion from the state-owned oil firm, the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC.
During the suit filed against the businessman’s unconstitutional arrest, the DSS told the court that Mr. Ubah had committed a capital offense which attracted a death penalty. They alleged that Mr. Ifeanyi Ubah engaged in activities inimical to national security and public order. The DSS claimed that the businessman has incited members of the Petroleum Tanker Drivers to refuse/stop the lifting of petroleum products. This, it said, Mr Ifeanyi Ubah did to undermine the Federal Government.
His arrest was widely condemned by human right activists, politicians and even some of his workers went on a peaceful protest calling for his release.
Some Ifeanyi Ubah’s Workers.
Two federal high courts had made contradictory orders on the detention of Ubah.
A federal high court in Lagos ordered the DSS to release Ubah. Mohammed Idris, the presiding judge, ordered the security agency to release him “unconditionally within 48 hours”.
Shortly after, a federal high court in Abuja, in another ruling, gave the agency a go-ahead to detain him for another 14 days.
Yusuf Halilu, the presiding judge of the Abuja court, extended Ubah’s detention order following an ex-parte application filed by the DSS.