The Department of State Service (DSS) says the alleged diversion of N11bn worth of petroleum products could cause economic sabotage, which is punishable by death.
The agency has accused Ifeanyi Ubah, managing director of Capital Oil and Gas Limited, of diverting the products.
This was stated in a counter-affidavit and written submission filed by the DSS in opposition to an application by Ubah, asking an Abuja high court to set aside an order for his detention for 14 days.
The secret police failed to produce him before the court on Tuesday.
Although no reason was given for his absence which stalled his trial, the security agency is believed to be acting on the order of the Abuja court authorising it to detain Ubah in its custody for at least 14 days.
In a counter-affidavit and written submissions filed by the agency, it described Ubah’s alleged diversion of the petroleum products kept in his custody by the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) as “an economic sabotage punishable by death.”
It stated that Ubah shunned NNPC’s repeated demand for the product “in order to cause an artificial scarcity of the product.”
It also said Ubah’s alleged crime is capable of causing great damage to the country.
The counter-affidavit filed by Safwan Bello, a DSS detective, stated thus: “the respondent was arrested on reasonable suspicion of his involvement in the commission of crime. He converted PMS belonging to the NNPC kept in the custody of his tank farm to his personal use.”