• We only visited his office, took documents – Police
Plain clothed detectives from the Special Fraud Unit, Milverton, Ikoyi have stormed the Omole Phase 2 residence of detained Managing Director of Capital Oil and Gas Industries Ltd, Dr. Ifeanyi Uba and ransacked the whole house. At the end of the exercise, the team, led by one Supol Soji, was said to have carted away some documents and driven away three posh cars, belonging to the oil magnet.
It was not immediately clear on whose order the team acted, as a statement yesterday quoting his lawyer, Mr. Soro Nwoko, described the action as highly “unprofessional, illegal and uncalled for” and noted that the police operation must have been done with ulterior motive. He demanded that the Inspector General, Mr. Mohammed Abubakar, should order investigation into the ‘illegal act.’ Said Nwoko: “Given that the accused person has been in the custody of the police for about 11 days, and a suit challenging their continued detention is currently before a competent court of law, invading his house and confiscating his property, when the court has not given an order to that effect, amounts to an affront on the judiciary and a further violation of the fundamental rights of the detainee, who is still innocent, having not been pronounced guilt by any court of law.
“On whose order did the police confiscate his cars? Is it on the orders of the Inspector-General or the commissioner in charge of the SFU? This is uncalled for because the value of those cars is nothing to compare with the amount they allegedly stole. I can tell you there is more to that and police authorities should call the officers to order because this is becoming humiliation.” Uba has been in the custody of the SFU since October 9. He was detained along four management staff of the company, when they went to honour an invitation extended to the company by the police at SFU over allegations of graft brought against his company by the Presidential Committee led by Access Bank CEO, Mr. Aig-Imoukhuede, which audited the Federal Government’s fuel subsidy payment scheme to oil importers and marketers.
Also reacting to the unlawful confiscation of Uba’s cars and invasion of his house, a Non Governmental Organisation (NGO), Centre for Truth, Justice and Fair Play (CTJFP), described the development as yet another act of illegality by the police. The group, in a statement signed by its President, Mr. Nathan Ochuko, noted that the act constitutes a clear violation of the rights of the detained persons, who he described as very reputable Nigerians. “It is important to note at this point that Aig-Imoukhuede committee recommended 25 firms for further investigations over the subsidy issue. Uba, as we have come to realise, was invited with chieftains of three other oil firms, who refused to show up.
We also know that representatives of two of the oil firms were asked to write their statements, after which, the SFU police allowed them to go. But Uba, as a law-abiding citizen and his team, decided to honour the invitation and are still being held till date. The question now being asked is whether the other executives have been cleared by the subsidy probe committee. If this is the case, government should come out and make it known to Nigerians. We are demanding an immediate release of Uba and his on bail, because the alleged offence is not a capital offence or treasonable felony but a bailable one,” CTJFP said.
The CTJFP, statement was signed by its President, Mr. Nathan Ochuko. Ochuko said: “Uba is a law-abiding citizen. He only returned from a trip that same day and was informed that the SFU invited him and some members staff for questioning in respect of subsidy issues. As one who had no skeleton in his cupboard, he went there on his own, but because the police still have some issues to resolve, they decided to go before the court to obtain an order to enable them complete their investigation.”
When contacted, the Public Relations Officer of SFU, ASP Ngozi Isitume, said that the police did not raid Uba’s house but visited his office on Wednesday and took away some documents.