December 6, 2022

Alleged N3.5bn Paris loan: Court documents exonerate GCA Energy of wrongdoing

An oil and gas exploration service company, GCA Energy Limited, has been exonerated of any wrongdoing following the judgment of a Federal High Court in Lagos, which struck out a suit against three aides of former Senate President, Dr. Bukola Saraki, over alleged N3.5billion Paris Loan scam.

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, had on September 2019, arraigned Saraki’s Deputy Chief of Staff, Gbenga Makanjuola; a cashier in the Senate president’s office, Kolawole Shittu; a former Managing Director of SocieteGenerale Bank, Robert Chidozie (now at large); a company, Melrose General Services Limited, and its Operations Manager, Obiora Amobi on the alleged offences.

However, in the suit, with charge no: FHC/140C/18, court documents revealed that neither GCA Energy Limited, nor its officials were charged before the court, despite EFCC’s having stated in a report dated December 21, 2016, that GCA Energy Limited paid the sum of $25,000 to Asterio Energy Services Limited, and subsequently got the sum of N12million from a company called Acarast Commercial.

Expectedly, when the EFCC concluded its investigation, and decided to arraign those indicted in the alleged N3.5billion Paris Loan  Scam, GCA Energy Limited, and its officials were left out, because nothing incriminating was found against them.

After almost three years of adjudication, the trial  judge, Justice Akintoye Aluko upheld the preliminary objection raised by the defendants, and struck out the charge on the grounds that the charge is invalid and incompetent.

The judge said that having examined the 11 counts on the first amended charge, apart from stating that the alleged acts or offences were committed in Nigeria, there was no mention of either Lagos or Abuja in the said charge.