Fuel Subsidy Scam: My Story, By Ifeanyi Uba

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The Managing Director of Capital Oil and Gas, Patrick Ifeanyi
Uba yesterday accused the Coordinating Minister of the Economy and Minister of
Finance, Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala of using her job and reputation to play ‘Anambra
State politics’. Speaking as a guest
on Channels Television’s programme, Sunrise Daily, Mr Uba said the Minister is
also assuming the position of a god.

“She’s playing
Anambra state politics with her job and reputation. She is assuming to be god;
she’s not God,” he said. 

Uba was arrested on
the 9th of October following the allegation of fraud totalling N43.291
billionby the Presidential Committee on Verification and Reconciliation of Fuel
Subsidy Payments headed by the Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of
Access Bank Plc, Mr. Aigboje Aig Imoukhuede.

Ubah, who is
currently on police bail by the Special Fraud Unit, is facing trial before a
Hederal High Court in Lagos, along with four others, of economic sabotage,
obtaining money by false pretence, stealing of N43.291 billion, property of the
Federal Republic of Nigeria, money laundering and forgery.

He has also been
accused by the Chairman of Coscharis Group, Dr. Cosmas Maduka of swindling him
of about N21 billion. 

However, a few days
ago, Uba refuted the allegations by the Presidential Committee.
In a statement he
issued himself, Ubah vehemently denied claims by the committee that it
collected subsidy payments for products for which no proof of mother-vessels
were found in locations claimed at the time of trans-shipments.

But speaking on
these yesterday, Ubah said “ I strongly believe the Finance Minister, because
of her rating, because of what people perceive her to be, is playing politics,
and she is playing Anambra State politics. With her job, with her reputation.
She is assuming to be god, she is not God.”

He accused the
Governor of Anambra State, Mr. Peter Obi, and the Managing Director of Access
Bank, Mr. Aigboje Aig-Imoukhuede of working in concert with the Minister, to
work against his business interest because of his perceived opposition to the
governor.

Alleging that
Aig-Imoukhuede hates with passion, “Aig doesn’t want to see me. He has never
seen his customer (Ubah himself) who has done $280 million transaction. He has
never seen that customer. He doesn’t want to see him. So there is something
behind it. 

There is politics,
there is envy, there are all sorts of things behind it. That is what I want to
go and table before that National Assembly, so that all of us would sit in a
round table and discuss it”

Buttressing her
allegation that the Minister is playing politics, Uba said, “She is playing
politics. In her economic team, she has Peter Obi, she has Aig-Imoukhuede, she
has some of my competitors. So everything in her economic team is biased… She
has told them to do anything to get me, to rope me in.”

He further alleged
that Aig-Imoukhuede is assumed, within the petroleum sector, to be the
‘Personal Assistant’ to the Finance Minister.

“Everything about
oil and gas transaction is done through the bank. It is either you obey their
law, or you’ll be indicted. I am sure if you go into their board, they are even
having problems, because of the way Aig-Imoukhuede is taking this thing…, you
can’t be a judge in your own cause. Nationwide, in the importation of
petroleum, Access Bank is responsible for 60 per cent.”

Uba also denied
claims by the Chief Executive Officer of Cosharis group, Cosmos Maduka that he
offered him (Mr Uba) a lifeline when his business was in the brink of collapse.
“Is it by his pure
water business that he’ll be able to come and help me?” Uba asked.

Uba said he
believes politicians were influencing the Cosharis boss, whom he referred to as
an uncle, to engage in the media war with him.

Mr Maduka had
claimed that since Mr Uba and his company (Capital Oil and Gas) were labelled
by most commercial banks in Nigeria as ‘unbankable’, he helped the oil merchant
to obtain a loan of $180 million from Access Bank to finance the importation of
Premium Motor Spirit (PMS).

The Cosharis boss
also alleged that 10 letters of credit were opened and that of the 10 expected
cargoes, only six were delivered.

Disputing Mr
Maduka’s claims, Mr Ubah said “everything about that story is false.”
When asked if it
was true that he is indebted to Access Bank to the tune of N21 billion, Mr Uba
said ‘you can’t eat your cake and have it’.

He said the loan he
obtained from the bank was what he used to import petrol of which his company
is yet to receive subsidy payment. “The money is sitting in Access Bank,” he
said.

“Access Bank is the
consignee of all the vessels imported. Therefore, if they are accusing of
fraud, then it is all of us together,” he added.

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