Nigerian News

Ex-Aviation minister, Hadi Sirika pleads not guilty to N19.4bn fraud

Former minister of Aviation, Hadi Sirika, on Thursday, was arraigned over an alleged contract fraud to the tune of N19.4bn (Nineteen Billion Four Hundred Million Naira).

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC arraigned Sirika alongside his brother, Ahmad Abubakar Sirika; and Enginos Nigeria Limited, a company owned by Abubakar,

The defendants were brought before Justice Suleman Belgore of the High Court in the Federal Capital Territory FCT on a 10-count amended charge.

Sirika is alleged to have abused his office by awarding contracts worth N19.4 billion to Enginos Nigeria Limited. They both pleaded not guilty to all the counts.

Meanwhile, it was reported earlier that the court granted bail to Hadi Abubakar Sirika, who is under probe over alleged N4.135 billion fraud committed while serving under former President Muhammadu Buhari.

Sirika, however, denied the alleged corrupt practices brought against him by the federal government. The ex-minister was charged alongside his daughter, Fatima, his son-in-law Jalal Sule Hamma and a firm – Al Buraq Global Investment Limited.

The daughter and son-in-law earlier arrested by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) also pleaded not guilty to the six count charges against them.

Following their denial of the fraud charges, their respective legal counsels moved applications for their bail which was granted by the Judge.

Justice Origi admitted the three defendants on bail in the sum of N100 millon (Hundred million naira) and two sureties each in the like sum.

The judge ordered that the defendants must not travel out of the country without the express permission of the court.