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Nigeria Air: Sirika, daughter charged with N2.7bn fraud

Barring any last-minute change, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission will today (Thursday) arraign the immediate-past Minister of Aviation, Hadi Sirika,  for an alleged N2.7bn fraud in connection with the botched Nigerian Air project.

Sirika will be arraigned on six counts alongside his daughter, Fatimah, and two others before Justice Sylvanus Oriji of the High Court of the Federal Capital Territory in Abuja.

According to the court documents sighted by our correspondent on Wednesday, the other defendants are one Jalal Hamma, and Al-Buraq Investment Ltd.

The EFCC, in the charges, accused Sirika of conferring undue advantage on some entities between April 2022 and March 2023 in Abuja.The anti-graft agency alleged that  Sirika abused his office by awarding consultancy N1.3bn contract for the Nigerian Air Start-up to Tianero  Nigeria Limited.

The EFCC said the ex-minister acted contrary to Section 19 of the Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Act, 2000.

In another count, the anti-graft agency alleged that on or about August 18, 2022 in Abuja, Sirika “did use your position to confer unfair advantage upon Al Buraq Global Investment Limited, whose alter ego, Fatima Hadi Sirika and Jalal Sule Hamma are your daughter and son-in-law respectively, by using your position to influence the award to them, the contract for the Apron Extension at Katsina Airport for the sum of N1.498,300,750.00.”

The anti-graft agency said by some doing, Sirika violated Section 19 of the Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Act, 2000 and was liable to punishment under the same section.

In count three, the EFCC accused Sirika of criminal breach of trust “while being the Minister of Aviation and in such capacity as a public officer on or about August 18, 2022, in Abuja, within the jurisdiction of this Honourable Court.”

The anti-graft agency had late April taken the ex-aviation minister into custody and grilled for days.


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