As his involvement in the bid to influence the outcome of the 2015 election in favor of former President Goodluck Jonathan become open, Nigerian billionaire oil mogul, Ifeanyi Ubah, may also soon face prosecution for his role in the alleged sponsorship of the cyber mud-raking against President Muhammadu Buhari.
The revelation of the scandal last month indicated that SCL Group, the parent company of Cambridge Analytica, was hired by Ubah, who, a security report seen by Abuja Chronicle, showed was poised to cough out $2 million to scrounge sleaze materials that would tarnish Buhari, the incumbent president, who was then main challenger of Jonathan.
Several calls to Ubah’s phone went unanswered. He also did not acknowledge or reply a Whatsapp message sent to him to respond to the issue.
About the time the scandal broke Cambridge Analytica got entangled in a similar global cyberspace impropriety involving Facebook that put the social media outfit in a monumental historical data breaches that threatened its existence.
Abuja Chronicle gathered from a high-profile source that in the wake of the revelation of Ubah’s hand in the Cambridge Analytica election scandal, the Presidency is contemplating a criminal prosecution against him and his accomplices. In April, the Senior Special Assistant, Media and Publicity to Nigeria’s President Muhammadu Buhari, Garba Shehu, had told Reuters that the federal government would setup a committee to investigate the matter and prosecute those found wanting.
Prior to the 2015 election, Ubah had openly worked for the re-election of Jonathan. The oil magnate, whose Capital Oil office located at 10 Oguda close, off Lake Chad, Maitama, FCT, Abuja, became the head office of the Transformation Ambassadors of Nigeria, ploughed millions of naira into the project in terms of branded cars, T-shirts and other campaign paraphernalia; including 100 pro-Jonathan billboards in Abuja 100 pro-Jonathan billboards strategically placed in and around the FCT: Maitama, Asokoro, Garki, Utako, Wuse, Life Camp, Gwarimpa and many areas of the city centre.
With the backing of prominent government officials of the former president, TAN, in 2014, moved around Nigeria in zonal rallies to collate signatures endorsing Jonathan.
Jonathan officials who openly worked with TAN included the former Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Anyim Pius Anyim; former Finance Minister, Ngozi Okonjo Iweala; former Works Minister, Mike Olomemenen and the current governor of Rivers State, Nyesom Wike.
Others were: Diezani Allison Maduekwe, the erstwhile Petroleum Minister, the Deputy Senate President, Ike Ekweremadu; former Deputy House Speaker,Emeka Ihedioha,; former minister of labour, Emeka Wogu; Prof. Chinedu Nebo; Prof. Onyebuchi Chukwu and former FRSC Boss and Aviation Minister, Osita Chidoka.
Barely a year after 2015 election, Ubah’s Capital Oil and Gas Industries Limited accounts were frozen on the orders assets of the Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria (AMCON).
The company and Ubah were restrained by Justice M. B. Idris of Federal High Court, Lagos, to desist from dealing with any assets or funds of the company within the jurisdiction of the court.
The court also made an order freezing all the bank accounts of the company until the matter is finally determined. Ubah, however, got some leverage when another court ordered AMCON to pay him N26.5 billion.
Although he has boasted that Capital oil has an asset base of over N300 million, Ubah has defaulted in the payment of over 15 months salary to the staff of The Authority newspaper, which he set up shortly after the election. Ubah, who is not a stranger lately to controversies, was nabbed by the Department of State Security (DSS) and detained for six weeks for allegedly stealing N11 billion worth of petroleum products belonging to the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC).
As owner of FC Ifeanyi Ubah, in March 2016, he displayed his brazen gangsterism when he ambled onto the pitch during a game and assaulted the goalkeeper of Heartland FC, Ebele Obi. This action fetched him a fine of N2.5m and a ban from watching 10 premier league matches.