Home Crime & Metro EFCC arraigns immediate past Aviation Minister, brother,  firms  for N5.8bn fraud
Crime & Metro - May 24, 2024

EFCC arraigns immediate past Aviation Minister, brother,  firms  for N5.8bn fraud

 

 

 

Stanley Ihedigbo 

Former Minister of Aviation,  Mr. Hadi Abubakar Sirika,  his brother Ahmad Abubakar Sirika and two companies Enginos Nigeria Limited and Samahah Integrated Investment Limited were arraigned by the Abuja Zonal Command of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC),   before Justice S.B. Belgore of the Federal Capital Territory,  FCT,  High Court Garki .

According to the Head, Media and Publicity, EFCC, Mr Dele Oyewale, they were arraigned on an amended 10-count charge bordering on contract fraud to the tune of N5,802,254,573.55.

Count one reads :‘that you Hadi Abubakar 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 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 them, the contract for the construction of a Terminal Building at Katsina Airport for the sum of N1,345,586,500.00 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”.

Count two reads ‘that you Hadi Abubakar Sirika, while being the Minister of Aviation, on or about 3rd November 2022, in Abuja within the jurisdiction of this Honourable Court, did use your position to confer unfair advantage upon Enginos Nigeria Limited whose alter ego, Ahmad Abubakar 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 N3,811,497,685.00 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.’

Count eight reads: “that you Hadi Abubakar Sirika, while being the Minister of Aviation and Ahmad Abubakar Sirika while being a public servant and an employee of Federal Ministry of Water Resources Aug 2022 and May 2023 in Abuja within the jurisdiction of this Honourable Court, did knowingly hold indirectly private interests in three aviation contracts in the aggregate sum of N5,772,279,460.00 awarded to Enginos Nigeria Limited whose alter ego is Ahmad Abubakar Sirika, your biological brother which contract was awarded on account of public service and you thereby committed an offence contrary to Section 12 of the Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Act, 2000 and punishable under the same Section”.

Count nine reads: ‘that you Ahmad Abubakar Sirika and Samahah Intergrated Investment Limited between June 2022 and October 2023 in Abuja within the jurisdiction of this Honourable Court, had an aggregate sum of N29,975,113.55 which sum you received from Tianaero Nigeria Limited and you knew indirectly represented the proceeds of criminal conducts of Hadi Abubakar Sirika, your biological brother who was Minister of Aviation (to wit: use of office or position for gratification in respect of 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 same section.

All the defendants pleaded not guilty to all ten charges when they were read to them.

Following their pleas,  counsel to the 1st defendant,  M.J. Numa SAN prayed the court to grant his client bail in the same conditions as had been earlier granted in Justice S.C. Oriji’s court when the defendant was arraigned before him on May 9, 2024.

He also submitted that the defendant was “not a flight risk, a man of high esteem in the society and has an aged 90year-old mother and family to cater for”.

Counsel to 2nd defendant,  M.A. Magaji SAN also pleaded with the court to grant bail in the same conditions as Justice Oriji,  also claiming that the 2nd defendant had a family to look after.

 Prosecution counsel,  Oluwaleke Atolagbe did not object to both applications while also informing the court that the defendants were already on administrative bail granted by the EFCC.

In granting bail, Justice Belgore said he considered that the 1st defendant had never been convicted before.  He also said both defendants are not likely to jump bail, commit further offences or tamper with evidence relating to their trial.  He therefore, while also relying on Justice Oriji’s bail terms, granted them bail in the sum of N100, 000,000.00 each with two sureties in like sum. One of the sureties must have a landed property in the Federal Capital Territory  and defendants are not to travel outside the country without the court’s  permission.

The matter is adjourned till May 28 and 29 for commencement of trial.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Check Also

Nigerian Army recovers arms, ammunition, one killed at Fann District in Barkin Ladi Council, Plateau State 

    Stanley Ihedigbo     Tactical team of 3 Division/Operation SAFE HA…