NEWS

EFCC freezes N3b traced to former minister Hadi Sirika’s brother’s account

Abubakar Ahmad Sirika, the brother of immediate past minister of aviation, Hadi Sirika, has been quizzed by operatives of the Economic ands Financial Crimes Commission over an alleged N8.06 billion contract fraud in the Federal Ministry of Aviation.

Abubakar who is believed to have been awarded a contract by his brother, the former Minister, was arrested on Sunday, February 4, as part of the ongoing probe of alleged fraudulent practices in the Ministry of Aviation during the tenure of the ex-minister.

EFCC is probing allegations of conspiracy, abuse of office, diversion of public funds, contract inflation, criminal breach of trust and money laundering.

The Nation reported that N3, 212,258,930.18 has been traced to Engirios Nigeria Limited, owned by Abubakar, who is a Level-16 officer and a deputy director in the Federal Ministry of Water Resources. Four big contracts were awarded to Abubakar’s Engirios Nigeria Limited when his brother was in charge of the ministry.

 

Abubakar Sirika, who is listed as the company’s Managing Director (MD)/Chief Executive Officer (CEO), is also the sole signatory to the two accounts linked to the firm with two banks.

 

The contracts awarded to him include;

 

Construction of the Terminal Building in Katsina Airport (N1,345,586,500.00); Fire Truck Maintenance and Refurbishment Centre in Katsina Airport (N3, 811,497,685.00); Procurement and installation of elevators, air conditioners and power generator house in Aviation House, Abuja (N615,195,275.000); Procurement of Magnus Aircraft and simulator for Nigerian College of Aviation Technology, Zaria (N2, 296,897, 404.00).

 

The EFCC’s crack team was able to uncover four contracts, worth about N8,069,176,864.00, which were not executed. A source told the publication;

“In connection with the ongoing probe of the Ministry of Aviation during Hadi Sirika’s tenure, EFCC’s crack team was able to uncover four contracts, worth about N8,069,176,864.00, which were not executed.

“The sum was for four aviation contracts from the former minister to Engirios Nigeria Limited, owned by his sibling.

“While profiling the contracts, there was a payment of N3,212,258,930.18 out of the total contract sum to Engirios Nigeria Limited, which is owned by the younger brother of the ex-Minister of Aviation.

“Apart from being listed as the company’s MD/CEO, Abubakar is the sole signatory to the company’s two accounts. Investigators further discovered that upon the receipt of the payment, Abubakar allegedly transferred it to different companies and individuals. There is no trace of work done on any of the contract items to date.

“These developments led to the arrest and detention of Abubakar on Sunday by the EFCC. He was grilled for several hours yesterday. He is providing the commission with additional useful information on the financial activities of the Aviation Ministry under the supervision of his elder brother.”

 

The contract awards and the timelines were between August 2022 and May 2023.

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