The Department of State Security (DSS) and the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) will any moment from now swoop on another oil mogul, Mr Gabriel Ogbechie.
Security sources revealed to us that Mr Ogbechie who is the Managing Director/CEO of Rain Oil Limited is among the big players in the corruption ridden oil and gas sector of the country which President Muhammadu Buhari has sworn to clean up.
As a former Minister of Petroleum during the military regime, Gen. Muhammadu Buhari was in tune with the goings on and the malfeasants in the country’s oil and gas sector. Now a democratically elected ruler, one of the main objectives of President Buhari is to cleanse the petroleum industry of corrupt practices and block all leakages
A source in the presidency informed us that President Buhari, early 2016 set up an investigative panel to discreetly probe the oil and gas sector. The reports are to be channeled through the Chief of Staff, Alh. Abba Kyari and delivered on his table.
We learnt that one of the mandates given by the president to the investigative panel was to exhume all reports of all probes, investigations and petitions that been swept under the carpet by previous administrations. The source revealed that few weeks after the panel swung into action, Mr Gabriel Ogbechie’s name and his company, Rain Oil Limited were found in many mind boggling dirty deals with officials of the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC).
We were further informed that an interim report of the secret investigative panel had been submitted to the President Buhari’s table and it was the recommendation therein that led to the arrest and detention of flamboyant businessman, Mr Ifeanyi Ubah who is currently being detained by the DSS.
The DSS few days ago told an Abuja High Court that Capital Oil boss unilaterally diverted about 80 million litres of Premium Motor Spirit (PMS) kept in his Tank Farm by the NNPC, sold the products and pocketed the money. The DSS argued that the offence amounted to economic sabotage and punishable by death under the law.
Meanwhile, investigations have shown that in year 2012, the Report of the Adhoc Committee of the House of Representatives to verify and determine the actual subsidy requirements and monitor the implementation of the subsidy regime, revealed by the committee under the heading; Sales of NNPC Petroleum Products By Capital Oil Limited.
An extract from the report goes thus; “The Committee observed that NNPC entered into a Storage Agreement of products with a Tank Farm Owner, Capital Oil Limited and consequently stored a volume of 94,330,030 litres in the Tank Farm of the company. However, due to alleged nonpayment of the storage fees for a period of Nine (9) months, the company sold the entire products belonging to NNPC ostensibly to recover the debt owed it by NNPC.”
“The Committee noted that the Agreement did not give the company the right of offset. Despite this lack of provision in the Agreement, NNPC bent the rules to accommodate the sale, in consideration of the company’s undertaking to allow the Corporation to recover the value of the sold products and accruing interest on incurred sums amortized over a period of time.”
Ifeanyi Ubah has been nabbed and the searchlight is now on the Rain Oil boss. Interestingly, Gabriel Ogbechei was also investigated in 2012 by the House of Reps Adhoc Committee and allegations were leveled against him of also diverting NNPC product kept at his Tank Farm in Oghara, Delta state, but he also found his way out of the mess after allegedly ‘settling’ some members of the committee.
Meanwhile, sources at the DSS and EFCC disclosed to us that the agencies are already rounding off their investigations on the Delta state born mogul and would be arrested soon.
Incidentally, Gabriel Ogbechei is currently facing another probe by the House of Reps Ad hoc Committee on review of pump price of petroleum where he was among others accused of not being able to account for over One billion dollars petroleum products. The Rain Oil boss was also accused of misappropriation of the FOREX collected as oil importer to ensure steady supply of Premium Motor Spirit.
A source in the oil and gas industry confessed that fraudulent practices have taken over the industry and that Gabriel Ogbechei is one of the kingpins. The source opined that until the likes of Ifeanyi Ubah and Gabriel Ogbechei are made to face the law, the anti-corruption war of President Buhari will still be regarded as tales by moonlight in the Oil and Gas sector of Nigeria’s economy.