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April 23, 2024
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Buhari’s aviation minister in EFCC custody over fraud allegation

Former Minister of Aviation, Hadi Sirika, has been arrested by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) over an ongoing money laundering probe involving the sum of N8,069,176,864.00.

Sirika arrived at the EFCC’s Federal Capital Territory Command at approximately 1:00 pm on Tuesday for questioning. The investigation centers on alleged fraudulent contracts awarded by Sirika to a company named Engirios Nigeria Limited, owned by his younger sibling, Abubakar Sirika.

Sources within the EFCC, speaking on the condition of anonymity, confirmed Sirika’s arrest and his current meeting with investigators. They disclosed that the investigation involves conspiracy, abuse of office, diversion of public funds, contract inflation, criminal breaches of trust, and money laundering during Sirika’s tenure as Minister of Aviation.

The investigation is focused on four aviation contracts awarded to Engirios Nigeria Limited, totaling N8,069,176,864.00. Abubakar Sirika, listed as the company’s Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer, and the sole signatory to the company’s bank accounts, has also been detained by the EFCC in connection with N3,212,258,930.18 paid to his company’s account by the former minister.

The EFCC revealed that no work has been done on any of the contract items to date. Abubakar Sirika, a civil servant at the Federal Ministry of Water Resources since 2000, has been providing assistance to the commission in its investigation.

The contracts awarded by Hadi Sirika to his brother’s company include the construction of the Terminal Building in Katsina Airport, the establishment of the Fire Truck Maintenance and Refurbishment Center in Katsina Airport, procurement and installation of lifts, air conditioners, and a power generator’s house in Aviation House, Abuja, and the procurement of Magnus aircraft and a simulator for the Nigerian College of Aviation Technology, Zaria.

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