• Sunday, June 23, 2024
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Absence of Sirika, brother stall 19.4bn contract fraud arraignment

Hadi Sirika, a former minister of Aviation and his brother, Ahmad Sirika, were absent from court on Tuesday for their scheduled arraignment before the Federal Capital Territory High Court on charges bordering on contract fraud amounting to N19.4 billion.
Oluwaleke Atolagbe, Counsel to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) told Justice Suleiman Belgore that the defendants hadn’t been served with the charge, and requested for an adjournment.Justice Belgore rescheduled the arraignment till Thursday, May 23, 2024.

Sirika, along with his brother, and their company Enginos Nigeria Limited, are facing charges of over ₦19.4bn fraud. The charges stem from alleged irregularities in several aviation ministry contracts awarded to Enginos Nigeria Limited, owned by Sirika’s younger brother, Abubakar.

According to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Sirika is accused of using his position to favour Enginos Nigeria Limited, benefiting his brother Ahmad, in awarding contracts worth billions. These actions are alleged to have contravened Section 19 of the Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Act, of 2000.

The charges detail instances where Sirika is accused of influencing contracts for projects such as the construction of a terminal building at Katsina Airport and the establishment of a Fire Truck Maintenance and Refurbishment Centre, both in Katsina Airport.

Furthermore, the EFCC alleges that Sirika corruptly awarded contracts totalling N615,195,275.00 to Enginos Nigeria Limited for the procurement and installation of equipment in the Aviation House in Abuja. The charges also include allegations of Sirika having proceeds from criminal activities during his tenure as Minister of Aviation.