Iheanacho denies alleged oil theft following NIMASA’s arrest

Channels Television  
Updated September 17, 2012

The former Minister of Interior and CEO of Integrated Oil and Gas Limited, Emmanuel Iheanacho, has alleged that he is being targeted by people he has no knowledge of at the moment.

Captain Iheanacho said this was confirmed by his arrest and shutting of his company by officials of the National Maritime Administration and Safety Agency, (NIMASA), on Friday.

Mr Iheanacho made this known on Channels Television breakfast show, Sunrise Daily where he also alleged that some people are targeting his business interest, making reference to a debt of over N8billion owed his company in fuel subsidy for imported petroleum products.

The former Minister was arrested in Lagos on Friday by security operatives attached to NIMASA with some top officials of his company on charges of oil theft and involvement in illegal oil dealings.

According to him, if the issue was the alleged stolen petroleum products and vessel, NIMASA had the needed information to arrest the individual involved.

Mr Iheanacho described his ordeal and that of his company’s staff during the arrest and clampdown on his company, as one of the most humiliating experience in his life.

According to Mr. Iheanacho, he was not in Nigeria when his tank farm was ransacked by security agencies as his workers were harassed in some many ways and upon his return security agencies stormed his office, informing him to produce the man that was behind the storage of illegal petroleum product in his tank farm.

The former Minister said he willingly gave the details of where to find the culprit to the security agents but he claimed the security agents said they have been asked to bring him in, hence his arrest by the security agents who took him to Kirikiri where he was detained.

The Director General of NIMASA, Mr. Patrick Akpobolokemi, at a news conference in Lagos on Friday, stated that the search for the sponsors of pirates on the nation’s coastline has led to the tracing of the stolen products to Integrated Oil and Gas tank farm.

According to Captain Iheanacho, if the issue was the alleged stolen petroleum products and vessel, NIMASA had the needed information to trace and arrest the individual involved in storing the petroleum products with the tank farm.

He also warned that the safety of his life and family are also no longer secure with the perceived assault on him and his business.