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EFCC To Arraign Nigeria’s Former Aviation Minister Hadi Sirika Over Alleged N8bn Fraud

EFCC investigations show that Nigeria’s Former Aviation Minister Hadi Sirika awarded contracts to his brother Abubakar, who’s a civil servant.

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) is scheduled to arraign former Minister of Aviation, Hadi Sirika, in court next week, THISDAY reports.

This comes after the arrest and questioning of Sirika, the former Minister of Aviation under the administration of former President Muhammadu Buhari.

Sirika will face charges in connection with an ongoing investigation related to fraud and money laundering amounting to N8,069,176,864.00.

The probe is related to Katsina Airport contracts, installation of lifts at Abuja Aviation House and the procurement of Magnus Aircraft and simulator for Nigerian College of Aviation Technology, Zaria

The former minister was at the Federal Capital Territory Command of the anti-graft agency around 1:00pm on Tuesday.

Upon his arrival, he was grilled by EFCC operatives over alleged fraudulent contracts he authorised for a company called Engirios Nigeria Limited, owned by his younger sibling, Abubakar Sirika.

Abubakar Sirika is a deputy director at the Federal Ministry of Water Resources.

A source close to the investigation said Sirika was questioned with regard to ongoing investigations by the agency.

“We invited him to ask him questions in relation to our investigations. He will be charged to court next week,” the source said.

EFCC investigations showed that Sirika awarded contracts to his brother, Abubakar, knowing that the latter was a civil servant, a deputy director on Level 16 in the Federal Ministry of Water Resources, where he had been working since 2000.

The first of the controversial contracts from the former minister to Engirios Nigeria Limited was on August 18, 2022 for the construction of Terminal Building at Katsina Airport, at the cost of N1,345,586,500.

The second was awarded on November 3, 2022 for the establishment of Fire Truck Maintenance and Refurbishment Centre at Katsina Airport, valued at N3.8 billion.

The third contract was on February 3, 2023 for the procurement and instalment of lifts, air conditioners and power generator’s house in Aviation House, Abuja, at the cost of N615 million.

The fourth was awarded on May 5, 2023 for the procurement of Magnus Aircraft and simulator for Nigerian College of Aviation Technology, Zaria, at the cost of N2.2 billion.

The source stated that out of the total contract sum, the ex-minister paid out N3.2 billion to his younger brother’s Engirios Nigerian Limited, who upon the receipt of the payment, transferred it to different companies and individuals.

Abubakar Sirika has also been arrested and detained by the EFCC.

“There is no trace of work done on any of the contract items till date,” the source said.

Ozioma Samuel-Ugwuezi 

Ozioma Samuel-Ugwuezi 

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