A Federal High Court in Lagos adjourned till April 2, 2020 the arraignment of the Chairman of Capital Oil and Gas Limited, Senator Ifeanyi Patrick Ubah for alleged N135bn fraud.
Ubah and his firm, Captital Oil, are accused of defrauding the Asset Management Company of Nigeria (AMCON).
Justice Nicholas Oweibo fixed the date following Ubah’s second consecutive absence in court.
The federal government, which is prosecuting the matter, told the judge that it had been unable to serve the defendants their October 30, 2019 charges.
Its lawyer, Kunle Adegoke, alleged that Ubah had been evasive.
The defendants were scheduled for arraignment last December 4, on a four-count charge, but Ubah was absent.
When the case was mentioned yesterday, Adegoke argued an ex parte application seeking permission for the court’s balliff to serve Uba the charge through his lawyer, Mr. Olisa Agbakoba (SAN).
Adegoke’s application was supported by an affidavit sworn to by Haleemah Adegoke.
The affidavit averred that Haleemah tried to effect service of the charge on Ubah personally in December, 2019 at Capital Oil and Gas Industries’ registered office, but was unable to serve him personally.
He had been been evading service since then, Haleemah said.
In a short ruling, Judge Oweibo granted Adegoke’s prayer.
He ordered that Uba should be served though his counsel, Agbakoba, and adjourned till April 2, for the defendants’ arraignment.
However, a counsel, who said he held the brief of Capital Oil and Gas Ltd, Mr. Ajibola Oluyede, told the court informally that there is an ongoing process for amicable settlement of the matter.
Last December 4, Agbakoba told the judge that Ubah had not been served with the charge.
He also told the court that a mediation move was ongoing to resolve the case out court “since it is all about money.”
Counts one, three and four of the charge against Ubah reads:
“That you, Ifeanyi Patrick Ubah, and Capital Oil and Gas Industries Ltd, sometime between 2012 and 2018, conspired in making false claims in relation to the actual values of certain 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 payment of the Indebtedness of Capital Oil and Gas Industries 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.
That you, Ifeanyl Patrick Ubah, and Capital Oil and Gas Industries Ltd, sometime between 2012 and 2018 in Nigeria, being guarantor and debtor respectively, negligently, wilfully 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 in partial satisfaction of the outstanding loan of N135 billion owed to AMCON.
That you, Ifeanyi Patrick Ubah, and Capital Oil and Gas Industries Ltd, sometime between 2012 and 2018, did obstruct the implementation of the provisions of the AMCON Act vis-a-vis the realisation of part of your outstanding debt of N135 billion by frustrating the sale of the landed property at Banana Island to Dayspring Development Company Limited, which property you both transferred to AMCON.