News

May 23, 2024

EFCC docks ex-Aviation Minister, Sirika, brother on fresh 10-count charge

Sen Hadi Sirika

Hadi Sirika, former Aviation Minister.

Ikechukwu Nnochiri

ABUJA–The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, on Thursday, arraigned the immediate past Minister of Aviation, Hadi Sirika, on a fresh 10-count charge.

Sirika was docked before an Abuja High Court sitting at Garki, alongside his brother, Ahmad and a company, Enginos Nigeria Limited.

The defendants, who were accused of complicity in a N19.4billion airport contract scam, pleaded not guilty to the charge that was read to them before trial Justice Suleiman Belgore.

It will be recalled that the former Minister, his daughter, Fatima, and his son-in-law, Jalal Sule Hamma, had on May 9, secured N100million bail each from an Abuja High Court at Maitama, over their alleged involvement in a phantom N2.7bn Nigerian Air contract scam.

However, in the fresh charge, the EFCC alleged that Sirika had while in office as a Minister, used his position to confer an unfair advantage on Enginos Nigeria Limited, whose alter ego was his biological brother, Ahmad.

He was accused of using his position to influence the award of contract for the construction of a terminal building at Katsina Airport for the sum of over N1.3bn, to his brother.

Some of the counts in the charge against the defendants, read: “That you Hadi Sirika, while being the Minister of Aviation, on or about August 18, 2022, in Abuja, within the jurisdiction of this court, did use your position to confer unfair advantage upon Enginos Nigeria Limited whose alter ego, Ahmad Sirika is your biological brother, by using your position to influence the award to them, the contract for the construction of a Terminal Building at Katsina Airport for the sum of N1.345billion and you thereby committed an offence contrary to section 19 of the Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Act, 2000 and punishable under the same section.

“That you Hadi Sirika, while being Minister of Aviation, on or about 3rd November, 2022, in Abuja, within the jurisdiction of this court, did use your position to confer unfair advantage upon Enginos Nigeria Limited whose alter ego, Ahmad Sirika is your blood brother, by using your position to influence the award to them, the contract for the establishment of Fire Truck Maintenance and Refurbishment Centre at Katsina Airport for the sum of N3.811billion and you thereby committed an offence contrary to section 19 of the Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Act, 2000 and punishable under the same section.

“That you Hadi Sirika, while being Minister of Aviation, on or about 5 May 2023, in Abuja, within the jurisdiction of this court, did use your position to confer unfair advantage upon Enginos Nigeria Limited whose alter ego, Ahmad Sirika is your blood brother, by using your position to influence the award to them, the contract for the Procurement and Installation of Lift and Air Conditioners and Power Generators for Aviation House, Abuja for the sum of N615.195million and you thereby committed an offence contrary to section 19 of the Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Act, 2000 and punishable under the same section.

“That you Hadi Sirika and Enginos Nigeria Limited between August, 2022 and May, 2023 in Abuja, within the jurisdiction of this court, had possession of an aggregate sum of N2.337billion, which sum you knew indirectly represented the proceeds of criminal conducts of Ahmad Sirika, who was the Minister of Aviation at the time (to wit: use of office or position for gratification in respect of the said amount), and you thereby committed an offence contrary to Section 17 (b) of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (Establishment) Act, 2004 and punishable under the same section.”

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