CRIME & COURT

Ex- aviation minister, daughter to be arraigned for multi-billion naira fraud

Nigeria’s former aviation minister Haidi Sirika might be arraigned by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, Thursday,May 10.

Sirika faces allegation of stealing N2.7bn fraud. In the twilight of the immediate past administration, led by Muhammadu Buhari, Sirika floated a national carrier that turned out to be a hoax.

It was later discovered that an aircraft he presented to show that the project had taken off, and which was painted in the colours of Nigeria, actually belonged to Ethiopia Air.

Sirika is to face six counts charge alongside his daughter, Fatimah, and two others. They will be arraigned before Justice Sylvanus Oriji of the High Court of the Federal Capital Territory, in Abuja.

Also, one Jalal Hamma, and Al-Buraq Investment Ltd are equally defendants in the suit.

The EFCC alleged that Sirika awarded consultancy service for the project, worth N1.3bn, to Tianero Nigeria Limited. This the anti-graft agency said contravened

Section 19 of the Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Act, 2000.

The minister, as per EFCC, also awarded a contract for Apron Extension in Katsina Airport for N1.498,300,750.00. Sirika reportedly awarded the contract to Fatima, his daughter, and son-in-law Jalal Sule Hamma.

-Adeola Atanda

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