Ifeanyi Ubah 'We won't release Capital oil boss,' DSS tells court

The DSS said the agency has secured  a court order authorising it to detain Ubah, the Managing Director of Capital Oil and Gas Limited for at least 14 days.

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Chairman of Capital Oil, Ifeanyi Ubah play

Chairman of Capital Oil, Ifeanyi Ubah

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The Department of States Services (DSS) has told a Federal High Court in Lagos that it would not produce oil mogul  Ifeanyi Ubah as ordered by the court.

The DSS said the agency has secured  a court order authorising it to detain Ubah, the Managing Director of Capital Oil and Gas Limited for at least 14 days.

Counsel for the DSS. Mr. Peter Oluremodu stated this on Friday, May 12, while objecting the May 9 order compelling the agency to bring Ubah to the court.

Justice Mohammed Idris had ordered that the suspect be brought before him.

Oluremodu said Ubah is being detained in DSS custody on the orders of Justice  Y. Haliru of the High Court of the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja.

He said the order was lawfully obtained in compliance with the provisions of the Administration of Criminal Justice Act 2015.

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But Ubah's lawyer, Mr. Ajibola Oluyede, argued that the FCT High Court order obtained by the DSS was to frustrate Justice Idris' order to produce Ubah.

 Oluyede urged the judge to hold that the DSS violated his order by not producing the oil boss.

He said this amounts to a challenge of the court's majesty.

Oluyede said, "the respondent has not shown cause as to why they failed to comply with Your Lordship’s order. Instead, they took steps to subvert the order. They acted in contempt of that order.

"The court in Abuja was not informed about the order to produce him. Their preliminary objection is not relevant to the consideration of whether they have obeyed the order to produce him.

"I urge Your Lordship to consider the dignity of the court as paramount and to order Ubah's unconditional release."

Justice Idris, however, held that for him to re-issue an order to produce Ubah would be wrong.

He said this is so because a court of coordinate jurisdiction in Abuja had issued an order that Ubah should be detained for 14 days.

According to the judge, the DSS was served with the order to produce Ubah on May 10.

"It appears that on the same date, that is May 10, 2017, the fourth and fifth (DSS and its Director-General) respondents obtained from an FCT High Court an order allowing them to detain the first applicant in their custody for an initial period of 14 days pending the completion of the investigation," he said.

Ubah was arrested on Friday, May 5, over his alleged refusal to his N11 billion realised from the sales of petroleum products stored in his facility by the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC).