BY OHIA ISRAEL
A report of the Special Fraud Unit of the Nigeria Police has revealed how the Anambra Oil Mogul led a team of other small companies to rip off the nation of several billions of naira through forgery and falsification. The Police Investigation Interim Report dated 5th November, 2012 with reference number CB:4099/X/SFU/ADM/VOL.2/140 addressed to the Chairman Presidential Committee on Verification and Reconciliation of Fuel Subsidy Payments stated that it was a case of conspiracy, money laundering, forgery, stealing, fraud, economic sabotage and obtaining by false pretence against Capital Oil and Gas Limited and five others including Ifeanyi Uba himself the chairman of the Capital Oil and Gas.
The report revealed that Capital Oil and Gas claimed N43.291 billion as subsidy, which was based on the importation of 538.74 million liters of Premium Motors Spirit, PMS during the 2011 fiscal year through 26 transactions. The report further went to say that it noted irregularities which are in form of alterations, wrong reference numbers, and duplications of vessels coupled with cargo quantity inflation.
The report noted that the facts of the matter show that the claim of Capital oil of 15th August, 2011 which is N984, 444,711.38 was received as subsidy. It also said that the mother vessels (MT Farandol EX MT Ermar Ex MT Greata EX MT Karei) as the bill of lading covering the movements of these cargoes were not provided. It also shows that letters of attestations never stated that MT Haruna arrive offshore Cotonou as the transaction is said to be fraudulent and the locations are at variance with the actual chain of documented harbor activities.
Other fraudulent activities by Capital Oil and Gas is that the claims of the company on September 3rd 2011 in which N1, 480,444,043.58 was received as subsidy is fraudulent as the mother vessel MT Rofos ex and MT Haruna Express was not found on the shores of Nigeria. Also its claims of December 30th, 2011 for which N2,110,438,332.44 was received as subsidy is fraudulent as the mother vessel MT GA was not found in the location as at the stated stipulated time transshipment. Furthermore, the report also said that claims of 7th June, 2011 which amounts to N2, 490, 576,887.15 was received as subsidy, as daughter vessel ex MT Gan Trophy, has an irregular quote of DA instead of CB on form M with an irregular bank stamp and other discrepancies.
Also the bill of landing is suspected to be forged, as signature on original document from DELANEY is at variance with copy from PPPRA and Capital oil; while habour activities and transshipment from the vessels are inconsistent. Another claims of 22nd November, 2010 from vessels ex MT Yang Li Hu on which subsidy of N1, 012, 732,121.26 was received is queried as fraudulent as daughter vessel’s bill of landing didn’t state form M and payment LC reference details. The transaction of 2nd February, 2011 was also fraudulent as the N1, 559,875, 069.76 as the daughter vessels has no bill of landing containing such details of form M to enable such transactions.
Meanwhile, the transactions of claims of 07/05/2011 which the sum of N2, 467,281,093.60 was paid has an irregular bill of lading which does not form M letter of credit bearing banking code, also with an irregular bank staff. Another N2, 500, 589, 236.80 which was received as subsidy on the 25th June 2011 has its form M and other documents altered, while the quoted number on the Telex letter of credit is different from Number form M provided. Also the bill of landing for the subsidy claims of July, 11th 2011 of in which, N2, 116, 460, 56O.87 was paid was not contained in the details of the form M and its letter of credit and numbering were not clear.
While the claims for September 15th 2011, for which N1, 129, 882, 062.96 was paid, the details for ship to ship transfer was not reflected, a transaction of N2, 719, 865, 676.18 which was made on the 6th October, 2011 shows that the Nigerian Navy records didn’t indicate the presence of the vessel MT Heli as the form M numbers are also not legible. Another transaction of 8th August 2011, whereby the sum of N1, 992, 830, 067. 19 was paid shows also that the Nigerian Navy records the vessels didn’t arrive Nigerian territorial waters, as also ship to ship transactions bill of landing is also not available for verification. Moreover, the findings of the investigations also show that Capital Oil was involved in 26 transactions, based on the importation of 538,74,000,000 litres of PMS and also received N43.291 billion payment on their subsidy claims.
That the PPRA formatted cloudy and shady transactions process where oil and Gas firm were given gluttonic leverages, to extort money as control measures in place were lousy; it also claimed that the auditing process used in computation and checking of subsidy claims are spurious and transparent and they are thereby open to fraud. Moreover, the documentations of ports clearing processes and boarding’s are conflicting which also need further enquiries from NPA, NIMASA and the Navy. As stated by the report that the 15 enquiries which shows that the irregularities raised in the course of the investigations were served on the MD and the trading officer of Capital Oil and Gas, that they are yet to make satisfactory responses.
The report said besides implementing terribly lax regulations, officials of PPRA, whose board is chaired by Ahmadu Ali, the former chairman of the ruling People’s Democratic Party, PDP, colluded to forge papers to clear Capital Oil. It will be recalled that an investigation by the House of Representatives into the subsidy fraud recommended Mr. Ali’s removal and prosecution. Mr. Ali has retained his post despite the indictments being passed to the executive. As gathered, the main people in Capital Oil plot were Mr. Ubah; the company’s Executive Director for Operations, Orji Joseph; the General Manager Operations, Chibuzor Ogbuokiri; the Depot Manager, Godfrey Okorie; and the Head of Training, Nsikan Usoro. The SFU however said investigations were continuing, and efforts were being invested to establish criminal liabilities against the officials of Capital Oil and Gas Limited, and others who conspired in fabricating documents.