S’Court verdict on Paris Club Fund vindicates me, says Saraki

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Former Senate President, Sen Bukola Saraki has commended the recent Supreme Court judgment, which overturned the Federal High Court’s 2018 decision regarding an alleged N3.5bn fraud case against Melrose General Services Limited.

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission had on April 27, 2018, secured judgment for the final forfeiture of N1.4bn which it claimed a firm, Melrose General Services Limited, obtained from the Nigeria Governors’ Forum through false claims.

 

Melrose is allegedly linked to Saraki, who was facing a political battle with some highly placed personalities within the Muhammadu Buhari-led All Progressive Congress government.

 

Dissatisfied with the verdict of Justice Cecilia Olatoregun, and the Court of Appeal which in May 2019, resolved the four contentious issues in favour of the EFCC, Melrose General Services approached the Supreme Court for redress, asking it to set aside the pronouncement of the lower courts.

Delivering judgment on Friday, June 7, the Supreme Court panel led by Justice Akomaye Agim (SC 1519/2019) set aside the judgments of the lower courts and ruled in favour of the appellant, Melrose General Services.

But in a statement issued in Abuja on Saturday by his media aide, Yusuph Olaniyonu, Saraki said the Supreme Court verdict attested to his earlier position that the case had some political undertones and was strategically launched to witchhunt him.

 

He said the legal suit was a proxy war, aimed at persecuting him, undermining his political career, and tarnishing his reputation.

He stated, “As much as this case was between the EFCC and Melrose General Services Limited, it was a proxy war, with Melrose serving as a mere pawn in a larger scheme to victimise and persecute me. It was always clear that this case was a thinly veiled attempt by the Buhari administration to weaponise the legal system for political gain.

 

“The allegations of Paris Club Fraud were nothing more than a smokescreen designed to weaken the institution of my office, undermine my political career, and tarnish my reputation through spurious accusations similar to the Code of Conduct Tribunal, which also acquitted me of all charges.

 

“As I said in my first appearance at the CCT, this is a politically motivated case. The case was trumped up in the first instance because I emerged as the President of the Senate against the wishes of certain forces.

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