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Alleged N19.4bn fraud: Hadi Sirika, former aviation minister gets bail

Alleged N19.4bn fraud: Hadi Sirika, former aviation minister gets bail

Justice Suleiman Belgore of the FCT High Court sitting in Garki has granted bail to a Hadi Sirika, the former minister of aviation, who is standing trial for alleged fraud to the tune of N19.4 billion.

Justice Belgore granted bail to the former Minister in the sum of N100 million and two sureties in like sum. One of the sureties must have a landed property within the jurisdiction of the court.

The court also added that the former Minister must not travel out Nigeria without the permission of the court.

Furthermore, the Court admitted that the second defendant, Ahmad Sirika should be granted bail under the same terms and conditions.

A few days ago, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) charged Sirika his brother, Ahmad Sirika; and his company – Enginos Nigeria Limited, with over ₦19.4bn fraud.

The sum is said to be for several aviation ministry contracts from the former minister, to Enginos Nigeria Limited, owned by Sirika’s younger brother, Abubakar.

Prior to this, the antigraft agency had charged and arraigned the former minister alongside his daughter, Fatima, his son-in-law, Jalal Sule Hamma, and a firm – Al Buraq Global Investment Limited.

They were charged with fraud to the tune of N2.7bn, however Sirika was granted bail and the EFCC again approached the court with fresh charges.

In the copy of the fresh charges, the EFCC alleged that Sirika, “while being the Minister of Aviation, on or about 18th August 2022, in Abuja, within the jurisdiction of this honourable court, did use your position to confer an unfair advantage upon Enginos Nigeria Limited, whose alter ego, Ahmad Abubakar Sirika, is your biological brother, by using your position to influence the award to him, the contract for the construction of a terminal building at Katsina Airport for the sum of N1,345,586,500.00.

According to the EFCC, Sirika’s alleged action violated Section 19 of the Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Act, 2000 and was punishable under the same section.

In another count, the EFCC alleged that “on or about 3rd of November, 2022, in Abuja,” Sirika used his position “to confer unfair advantage upon Enginos Nigeria Limited, whose alter ego, Ahmad Abubakar Sirika, is your biological brother, by using your position to influence the award to him, the contract for the establishment of Fire Truck Maintenance and Refurbishment Centre at Katsina Airport for the sum of N3,811,497,685.00.

In another count, he was accused of corruptly awarding a N615,195,275.00 contract to his brother, to procure and install lift and air conditioners and power generators for the Aviation House in Abuja.