Saraki commends Supreme Court’s ruling against forfeiture of N1.2 billion

By Innocent Raphael

Bukola Saraki, former President of the Nigerian Senate, has praised the Supreme Court for overturning a federal court judgment that required Melrose General Services to forfeit N1,222,384,857.84 to the Federal Government.

The case dates back to April 27, 2018, when the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) secured a judgment mandating the final forfeiture of N1.5 billion.

The EFCC had argued that Melrose General Services Limited obtained these funds from the Nigeria Governors’ Forum (NGF) through false claims.

Melrose General Services Limited, dissatisfied with this verdict, challenged the decision at the Court of Appeal. The appeal court upheld the forfeiture, prompting Melrose to escalate the case to the Supreme Court.

On Friday, a Supreme Court panel led by Justice Akomaye Agim (SC 1519/2019) overturned the lower courts’ rulings, deciding in favor of Melrose General Services.

Reacting to the judgment, Saraki described the case as a “proxy war,” alleging that Melrose was used to target and persecute him politically.

“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 victimize and persecute me,” Saraki stated.

He further claimed that the Buhari administration had weaponized the legal system against him for political purposes.

Saraki also dismissed allegations of “Paris Club Fraud” as a pretext to undermine his office, damage his political career, and tarnish his reputation.

He expressed profound gratitude to the judiciary for their careful consideration of evidence and adherence to due process, which led to the favorable verdict. Saraki thanked Melrose’s legal team for their persistent efforts in achieving this outcome.

Saraki emphasized the need for fairness in the fight against corruption and urged the public to see this verdict as an inspiration to uphold the rule of law, promote democracy, and tolerate diverse opinions.


The case involves allegations from March 27, 2019, where the EFCC accused Saraki and his aides of laundering N3.5 billion from a Paris Club loan refund. This amount was part of a N522 billion refund disbursed to Nigerian states due to over-deductions for debt servicing between 1995 and 2002.

According to the EFCC, the NGF paid N3.5 billion into the bank account of Melrose General Services, a company owned by Robert Mbonu, an associate of Saraki. The NGF had hired Mbonu as a consultant on the deal.

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