Former Aviation Minister Sirika, Brother Plead Not Guilty to Alleged N19.4 Billion Fraud Charges



Former Minister of Aviation, Hadi Sirika and his brother, Ahmad Sirika, on Thursday pleaded not guilty over an alleged contract fraud worth N19.4 billion.

Sirika, his brother, and a company owned by Abubakar – Enginos Nigeria Limited, were arraigned by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission on an amended 10-count bordering on the offence.

Sirika is accused of abusing his office by awarding contracts to his brother’s company, Enginos Nigeria Limited.

In the EFCC fresh 10-count charge, Sirika was accused of conferring unfair advantage on his brother while using him as leverage to divert billions from the Federal Ministry of Aviation.

The anti-graft agency also alleged that the former Minister engaged in the “illegal award” of contracts.

Three months ago, the EFCC had said its operatives arrested Abubakar Ahmad Sirika, the brother of Hadi Sirika, over an alleged contract fraud in the aviation ministry.

Abubakar was picked up by the anti-graft agency on Sunday, February 4, following an investigation by the Ministry of Aviation and Aerospace Development.

Sirika is facing allegations, including conspiracy, abuse of office, diversion of public funds, contract inflation, criminal breach of trust, and money laundering totaling N8,069,176,864.

The commission had revealed that the funds in dispute related to four aviation contracts awarded by the former minister to a company called Engirios Nigeria Limited, which is owned by his younger brother.

The EFCC is empowered by law to track financial crimes while every accused person remains innocent until found guilty by a competent court.

Sirika served as aviation minister from 22 August 2019 to 29 May 2023.

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