The Federal Government has filed criminal charges against Senator Ifeanyi Patrick Ubah and his company, Capital Oil and Gas Limited.
The charges, filed before the Federal High Court in Lagos, are related to an alleged N135 billion fraud.
Lawyer to the Federal Government, Mr. Korede Adegoke, on Wednesday informed the court of four pending charges pressed against the defendants and urged the court to accept the charges for the purpose of taking their plea.
In the first charge, the prosecution accused Senator Ubah and his company of conspiring together, sometime between 2012 and 2018, “in making false claims in relation to the actual values of certain assets-transferred to Asset Management Corporation _of Nigeria (AMCON) under the Consent Judgment delivered in Suit No. FHC/ABJ/CS/714/2012 on the 1st day of July, 2013 in partial payment of the indebtedness of Capital Oil and Gas Industries Limited with a view to defeating the realisation of the said judgment debt of Capital Oil and Gas Industries Limited to AMCON then standing in the sum of 135 billion naira, contrary to Section 54(1)(a) and (d) of the Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria Act, 2010 (as amended)”.
The second charge held that the defendants “made false claims in relation to the actual values of certain assets transferred to AMCON” under the consent judgment, contrary to Section 54(1)(a) of the Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria Act, 2010 (as amended).
The third charge read, “That you, Ifeanyi Patrick Ubah, and Capital Oil and Gas Industries Limited, sometimes between 2012 and 2018 in Nigeria and within the jurisdiction of this honourable Court, being guarantor and debtor respectively, negligently, willfully or recklessly made a statement or gave information knowing it to be false in relation to the actual values of the assets transferred to AMCON under the Consent Judgment delivered in Suit No. FHC/ABJ/CS/714/2012 on the 1St day of July 2013 in partial satisfaction of the outstanding loan of N135 Billion Naira owed to AMCON contrary to Section 54(2) of the Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria Act, 2010 (as amended)”.
In the fourth charge, the defendants were accused of obstructing the implementation of the provisions of the AMCON Act “vis-é-vis the realisation of part of your outstanding debt of N135 Billion Naira _by frustrating the sale of the landed property at Banana Island to Dayspring Development Company Limited, which property you both transferred to AMCON by virtue of the Consent Judgement delivered by this honourable court on the 1st day of July 2013, in Suit No. FHC/ABJ/CS/714/2012 and which act is contrary to Section 54(5) of the Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria Act, 2010 (as amended)”.
The arraignment of the defendants before Justice Nicolas Oweibo was however stalled, as Ubah’s lawyer, Olisa Agbakoba (SAN), said his client had not been served with the charges.
Agbakoba also informed the court that a mediation move was ongoing to settle the case out of court.
Counsel to the second defendant, Capital Oil and Gas Limited, Ajibola Oluyede, on his part, confirmed that his client had been served.
“That is why we have filed a notice of preliminary objections challenging the competency of this charge,” he told the court.
In response, the prosecution counsel said he would not hesitate to ask the court for a warrant of arrest for Senator Ubah if he was trying to avoid court proceedings.
After listening to lawyers for the parties involved, Justice Oweibo, adjourned the case since the prosecution had failed to produce the defendant in court.
He adjourned the case till February 13, 2020.