EFCC Files Fresh Charges Against Former Aviation Minister, Brother Over ₦19 Billion Fraud - Watchtower media

EFCC Files Fresh Charges Against Former Aviation Minister, Brother Over ₦19 Billion Fraud

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has brought charges against former Minister of Aviation, Hadi Sirika, along with his brother Ahmad Sirika and their company, Enginos Nigeria Limited, for alleged fraudulent dealings totaling over ₦19.4 billion.

According to reports from Lagos Reporters, these allegations are linked to various contracts awarded by the aviation ministry to Enginos Nigeria Limited, a company owned by Sirika’s younger brother, Abubakar.
The Sirika brothers are scheduled to appear in court before Justice Belgore at the Federal Capital Territory High Court in Garki, Abuja, today (Tuesday).

This represents the second criminal charge filed by the EFCC against the former aviation minister, following his recent prosecution for a separate ₦2.7 billion fraud last week at the same court.

During the proceedings last week, Sirika and his co-defendants - his daughter, Fatimah; son-in-law, Jalal Hamma; and Al-Buraq Investment Ltd - faced six charges, to which they pleaded not guilty. Despite this, Justice Sylvanus Oriji granted bail to each defendant in the sum of ₦100 million, under the condition that they remain in the country until the case concludes.

Insiders at the EFCC disclosed to Punch Newspaper that Sirika is facing a new set of charges involving a huge sum of ₦19.4 billion.

The charges outline that Sirika allegedly misused his ministerial position to manipulate the contract awards to Enginos Nigeria Limited, a move that benefited his brother.

One specific charge states that on August 18, 2022, Sirika facilitated the award of a ₦1,345,586,500 contract for the construction of a terminal building at Katsina Airport to his brother’s company, contravening Section 19 of the Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Act, 2000.

Further accusations include contracts worth ₦3,811,497,685 awarded on November 3, 2022, to set up a Fire Truck Maintenance and Refurbishment Centre at Katsina Airport, and for the procurement and installation of lifts, air conditioners, and power generators valued at ₦615,195,275 at the Aviation House in Abuja.
In addition, the EFCC alleges that between August 2022 and May 2023, Sirika had control over ₦2,337,840,674.16, supposedly representing proceeds from these unlawful activities.

Before these events unfolded, Abubakar Sirika, the former minister's younger brother, was arrested and held by the EFCC in relation to ₦3,212,258,930.18 transferred to Enginos Nigeria Limited’s bank account by the ex-minister.

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