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Alleged N19.4bn Fraud: Sirika, Brother Plead Not Guilty, Granted N200m Bail

A former Minister of Aviation, Hadi Sirika; his brother, Ahmad Sirika; and a firm, Enginos Nigeria Limited, have been arraigned on a fresh ten-count charge before Justice Suleman Belgore of the the FCT High Court sitting in Garki, Abuja.

In the new charge, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), accused Sirika, his brother, and Enginos of a N19.4 billion airport contract fraud.

According to the charges, Sirika allegedly breached Section 19 of the Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences (ICPC)  Act 2000 by awarding contracts to Enginos Nigeria Limited, a company owned by his biological brother, Ahmad.

The EFCC  alleged that 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 an 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 him, the contract for the construction of a terminal building at Katsina Airport for the sum of N1,345,586,500.00 in breach of Section 19 of the Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Act 2000″.

It further alleged that  Sirika “on or about 3rd of November, 2022, in Abuja”  used his 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 him, the contract for the establishment of Fire Truck Maintenance and Refurbishment Centre at Katsina Airport for the sum of N3,811,497,685.00.”

He was accused of corruptly awarding a N615,195,275.00 contract to his brother, to procure and install lift and air conditioners and power generators for the Aviation House in Abuja.

The EFCC alleged that Sirika, between August 2022 and May 2023 in Abuja, “had possession of an aggregate sum of N2,337, 840,674.16, which sum you knew indirectly represented the proceeds of criminal conducts of Hadi Abubakar Sirika, who was the Minister of Aviation at the time.”

According to the anti-graft agency,  besides being the Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of the company,  Ahmad is also the only person authorized to sign for the company’s two accounts, which are held in Zenith and Union banks

At the reading of the charge to the defendants, they all pleaded not guilty.

The court however granted Hadi Sirika and his brother Ahmad bail to the tune of Hundred million naira each with two surties in like sum.

One of the surties must have landed property in the FCT. The Judge also ordered that the defendants must not travel out of the country without express permission of the court.

The court adopted the same conditions in the sister case before Justice Sylvanus Origi of the same court who granted Hadi Sirika, his daughter and son in-law bail on 9th of May, 2024.

DIPLOMATIC DIARY

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