Thursday, 23 May 2013
Of Ifeanyi Ubah’s Campaign Of Ethnicity And Inviolability Of The Principle Of National Interest
Ifeanyi Ubah, expectedly, after regaining temporary freedom on the strength of the administrative bail granted him by the Nigeria Police Force on the afternoon of Monday, October 22, 2012, has begun to cover his fraudulent path through media theatrics and conjectures designed to situate his journey to Ikoyi Prison within the domain of tribalism, witch-hunting and calculated attack on his person. This is evident in his listing of some top players in the oil industry as having been spared from the ongoing interrogations because they have people intervening for them, even when thorough and rigorous investigation await them.
This side to the unfolding development that will bring a final end to the issues of economic sabotage and fraudulent business practices in Nigeria is somewhat interesting. Ubah’s allocutus is now the fact that he has no one to intervene on his behalf, not that he has not collected the naira equivalent of monthly allocation of 11 states of the federal republic of Nigeria through the sham of importing and selling 538, 74 million liters of Premium Motor Spirit (PMS) during the 2011 fiscal year through 26 transactions for which he/his company collected a whopping sum of N23bn (Twenty-Three Billion Naira).
For the people beating the drum of sentiment, it is important we allow logic guide our reasoning to enable us put the issues at hand in the appropriate context. Ubah’s loot is enough to make him appear generous because the ‘hippopotamus-sized’ amount he defrauded our country of can never be for or in the name of an individual. See, if his loot has been adjudged to be worth more than the monthly allocation of 11 states of this great country, he would only qualify to be genuinely generous when he touches lives equivalent to the population of the 11 states because these are the people whose share of the national resources Ubah has somehow cornered!
Is it that people cannot see that Nigeria is bleeding through the cut of heartless fraudsters like Ifeanyi Ubah who have vowed to permanently make national development impossible? International investors are cautious about coming into the country lest they fall victim of carefully orchestrated plot and scheme evolved by the league of marauders parading themselves as businessmen. Interestingly, Ubah’s case is more than oil subsidy thieving! The social media and national dailies are saturated with series of allegations and facts that could lead one to a valid conclusion about his person. There are successful businessmen in this country whose entrepreneurial accomplishments have not elicited as much controversy as the endless chain of suspicion and tirade that have greeted Ubah in his less than 2 years of rising to national consciousness.
First, there are serious issues around his activities in Congo DRC where he was said to have fleeced the late President, Laurent-Désiré Kabila, of amounts so gargantuan that his name is as popular as the country’s national anthem; or the other account that has it that he was into gun- running in Congo DRC thereby contributing to the war that ravaged the country. If this is considered the handiwork of mischief makers, Ubah should visit Congo DRC to clear the air about the fact that he swindled the Government of the Congo DRC before bouncing on the Nigerian Oil or his contribution to national disintegration.
Second, Ubah, overnight, has established himself as a major player in the Nigerian Oil and Gas sector, but has anyone asked how? Well, available facts have shown that every business interaction with Ifeanyi Ubah leaves the other party with a broken nose. People deal with Ubah on the assumption that his business dealings are transparent, genuine and ethical but later revelations and discoveries leave them wriggling in pains as they are either swindled or defrauded of their funds. A case at hand is Ubah’s refusal to pay Brittania-U Nigeria Ltd and NNPC for the Premium Motor Spirit (PMS) loaded and sold by Capital Oil and Gas Ltd. This is already a matter of litigation because Ubah issued a dud cheque of N4billion to settle his indebtedness to these companies.
Should we just overlook the fact that Ubah issued a dud cheque of N4billion for a transaction which proceed he had collected as a mistake or intent to defraud other parties involved in the transaction? Okay, if it was a mistake, has Ubah remitted the funds to the real owners? Seriously, if a businessman’s antecedent has colouration similar to the pedigree of Chief Fred Ajudua, Mr. Emmanuel Nwude and Mr. Ikechukwu Anajemba, is it out of place to conclude that Nigeria has returned to the era of deceit, fraud, pretence and destruction of national pride that characterised the reign of the trio over Nigeria?
Aside from this, available facts have it that Ubah’s pile of indebtedness to the Nigerian banking sector is enough to cripple the entire financial system if his refusal to return customers deposit is not toppled by the force of the Law. Over N70billion to an individual with no commitment to his debt obligations is an aberration. Amidst this and the crying of financial operators, Ubah still acquired for himself a private jet valued at about N4.2billion. what an affront?
Dr. Cosmas Maduka’s experience as alluded to in the farce propagated via some online media platforms is an attestation to his fraudulent practices. One would have expected Ubah to highlight the details of the business transaction and the nature of the disagreement that ensued for Nigerians to understand elements of his characterisation in this unfolding dramatic piece. Information obtained from the SFIU detailed the fact of the business transaction and these are available on pointblanknew.com.
As a nation, we treat these issues with irritating levity that makes the international community doubt our seriousness at purging the country of charlatans. People just emerge from nowhere with claim to wealth of no discernible source, and we accord them a pride of place in the society. This practice is not only ridiculous but shameful because the society destroys itself through such practices.
Youths take these individuals as role models and aspire to be like them. Most often, these aspirations propel our youth towards these individuals with no enviable past and get them inducted into a world of treachery, crime and fraud. By this, the nation becomes a self-generating station for criminals, fraudsters and economic saboteurs and subsequent administrations are burdened with the responsibility of cleansing the country of the awful tradition established by Fred Ajudua, Emmanuel Nwude and Ikechukwu Anajemba now maintained by Ifeanyi Ubah.
Seriously, Ubah’s name appearing on the list of fuel subsidy thieves is just one of the numerous cases of frauds to his name. This case only gained enlistment on the public agenda because of the resolution of the Presidential Committee on Fuel Subsidy Payment Verification and Reconciliation to diligently serve the nation and free her from the wicked grip of fraudsters milking her dry of her resources. Most importantly, President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan’s constitution of the committee is not only a commendable act of visionary leadership and resolve towards the economic liberation of our suffering nation, but strong signal to the international community on the determination of this administration to take Nigeria to the Promised Land.
The judiciary has since realized this and the fact that Nigeria of today does not have more than Oil as the main source of income; so it is a sacred national resource that pilferers of any social standing or status will not be allowed to tinker with. This understanding, I presume, is the motivation for the Court’s overturning of the administrative bail granted him and request for daily visit to the Special Fraud Unit, Ikoyi.
This far, the judiciary has performed impressively and demonstrated a commendable level of commitment towards national development. Much as one would have thought that Ubah’s posture of being above the laws of the land has some meanings, the different Judges and Courts involved in his prosecution and trail have shown that no man is above the laws of the Land.
The Special Fraud Unit (SFU) should also deploy forensic investigation tactics that will enable them make a big haul of rogues into their net and let Nigeria move forward. Ubah might not be the only one in this act of national betrayal, economic sabotage and perfidy but the amount to his name and chain of allegations around his neck has made him the man of the moment; the man in the eye of the storm. Ubah seems to have more questions to answer than others.