Hadi Sirika EFCC

N8bn Alleged Fraud: EFCC Grills Ex-Aviation Minister Sirika

4 weeks ago
1 min read

Operatives of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), reportedly arrested and interrogated former Minister of Aviation, Hadi Sirika, on Tuesday, over allegations involving the sum of N8 billion allegedly laundered during his tenure as minister.

According to a report in Channels, Sirika went to the EFCC office in Abuja on invitation by the Commission.

The money is said to be for four aviation contracts awarded during the former minister’s tenure to Engirios Nigeria Limited, owned by Abubakar Sirika,  his younger brother.

The former minister was accused of conspiracy, abuse of office, contract inflation, diversion of funds and criminal breach of trust and money laundering to tune of N8,069,176,864.00.

The EFCC chairman during a chat with journalists on Tuesday  confirmed that the Commission has been investigating Ministries of Aviation and Humanitarian Affairs, adding  that the probe is not only about Sirika.

Abubakar Sirika, the ex-minister’s younger brother was  arrested by operatives of the EFCC over alleged fraud in the Aviation ministry.

According to the anti-graft agency, Abubakar, who is the MD/CEO of the company,  is also the sole signatory to the company’s two accounts domiciled in Zenith and Union banks.

READ ALSO: N80.2bn Fraud: Yahaya Bello Absent In Court Again Amidst EFCC Ongoing Search

Sources also stated that the ex-minister awarded contracts to his younger brother knowing fully well that he is a civil servant of grade level 16 in the Federal Ministry of Water Resources.

One of the contracts was said to have been awarded by the minister to the company Engirios Nigeria Limited  on 18 August 2022 for the construction of Terminal Building in Katsina Airport at the cost of N1.3 billion.

Another contract awarded on 3 November 2022, was said to be for the establishment of a Fire Truck Maintenance and Refurbishment Centre in Katsina Airport at the cost of N3.8 billion.

The third one was awarded on February 3, 2022 for the procurement and installation of lifts, air conditioners and power generator’s house in Aviation House.

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.

Out of the total contract sum, the ex-minister was said to have paid out N3.2 billion to the Engirios Nigerian Limited, and it was not traceable to  any project done in the ministry.

 

 

Victor Ezeja is a passionate journalist with six years of experience writing on economy, politics and energy. He holds a Masters degree in Mass Communication.

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