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EFCC Files Fresh Charges Against Former Aviation Minister, Brother Over ₦19 Billion Fraud

Posted by Amarachi on Tue 14th May, 2024 - tori.ng

The Sirika brothers are slated to be arraigned before Justice Belgore at the Federal Capital Territory High Court in Garki, Abuja, today (Tuesday).

Hadi Sirika

Hadi Sirika
 

New charges have been filed against the immediate past Minister of Aviation, Hadi Sirika, his brother Ahmad Sirika, and his company, Enginos Nigeria Limited, by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), over alleged fraudulent transactions amounting to over ₦19.4 billion.

These charges pertain to several contracts awarded within the aviation ministry to Enginos Nigeria Limited, a company owned by Sirika’s younger brother, Abubakar.

The Sirika brothers are slated to be arraigned before Justice Belgore at the Federal Capital Territory High Court in Garki, Abuja, today (Tuesday).

This marks the second criminal charge the EFCC has levied against the ex-aviation minister following his recent arraignment for a separate ₦2.7 billion fraud last Thursday at the same court.

During last week’s proceedings, Sirika was arraigned on six counts alongside his daughter, Fatimah; son-in-law, Jalal Hamma; and Al-Buraq Investment Ltd.

Despite pleading not guilty, Justice Sylvanus Oriji granted the defendants bail in the sum of ₦100 million each, subject to their remaining within the country until the conclusion of the case.

EFCC insiders revealed to Punch Newspaper that Sirika was officially charged with a second set of charges involving a staggering ₦19.4 billion.

The detailed charges allege that Sirika used his ministerial position to unduly influence contract awards to Enginos Nigeria Limited, benefiting his brother.

One specific charge details that on August 18, 2022, Sirika facilitated the award of a ₦1,345,586,500 contract for the construction of a terminal building at Katsina Airport to his brother’s company. This act is purportedly in violation of Section 19 of the Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Act, 2000.

Further allegations include a ₦3,811,497,685 contract awarded on November 3, 2022, to establish a Fire Truck Maintenance and Refurbishment Centre at Katsina Airport and another for the procurement and installation of lifts, air conditioners, and power generators worth ₦615,195,275 at the Aviation House in Abuja.

Additionally, the EFCC claims that between August 2022 and May 2023, Sirika had possession of ₦2,337,840,674.16, which allegedly represents the proceeds from these illicit activities.

Prior to these developments, Abubakar Sirika, the ex-ministers younger brother, was arrested and detained by the EFCC in connection to ₦3,212,258,930.18 transferred to Enginos Nigerian Limited’s bank account by the former minister.



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