The tale of Abu Ali Jibia, one of the top players in the nation’s oil and gas industry, is one that can be likened to a narrative with a gripping beginning but a sad end.
Until his current travail, the stupendously rich businessman commanded a lot of respect and his popularity literally soared as far as neighbouring countries. Those close to him hinted that he is a spendthrift.
But little did many who idolise him know that his ways were allegedly crooked. For him, the journey on this road of infamy began in October 2013, when the winds blew and the buttocks of the hen was exposed. That was when the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, picked him up alongside 10 others for alleged illegal bunkering.
Spy Glass gathered that Jibia was subsequently arraigned before Justice Mojisola Olatoregun of the Federal High Court, sitting in Lagos, on a five- count charge bordering on conspiracy, unlawful dealing in Automated Gas Oil, AGO, popularly called diesel, and unlawful distribution of adulterated petroleum products, among others.
Jibia and his cohorts had sometime in May, 2013 allegedly stored and distributed two barges and two petrol tanker trucks filled with adulterated diesel.
Consequently, his company, vessel MT Swordfish, which is said to worth several millions of dollars, was seized by the anti-graft agency.
A source disclosed to Spy Glass that Jibia initially did not appreciate the enormity of the criminal charges against him, believing that some of his godfathers would get him off the hook. But he seems to be on his own now, as all the said godfathers themselves are enmeshed in some troubles owing to the clampdown on perpetrators of illicit oil deal by the current administration of President Muhammed Buhari.
In view of this, only time will tell if the one-time big boy, who is said to be running from pillar to post, willescape the wrath of the law or not