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Former aviation minister Hadi Sirika arrested by EFCC in multi-billion naira Money laundering probe

Embattled ex-minister faces allegations of fraudulent contracts and collusion with family member in a case involving over N8 billion in public funds.

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Former Minister of Aviation, Hadi Sirika, was apprehended by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) on Tuesday as part of an ongoing investigation into an extensive money laundering scheme totalling N8,069,176,864.00. Sirika’s arrival at the EFCC’s Federal Capital Territory Command in Abuja marked a significant development in the case, shedding light on allegations of corruption within Nigeria’s aviation sector.

Sources within the anti-graft agency, speaking on condition of anonymity, disclosed that Sirika is under scrutiny for his involvement in awarding fraudulent contracts to Engirios Nigeria Limited, a company reportedly owned by his younger sibling, Abubakar Sirika. The contracts, which amounted to billions of Naira, allegedly lacked proper oversight and accountability, leading to suspicions of embezzlement and misappropriation of public funds.

The EFCC’s investigation, which spans multiple facets including conspiracy, abuse of office, diversion of public funds, and contract inflation, has intensified scrutiny on Sirika’s tenure as Minister of Aviation. Questions surrounding the legitimacy of contracts awarded to Engirios Nigeria Limited have raised concerns about the integrity of Nigeria’s aviation infrastructure projects and the potential exploitation of public resources for personal gain.

In a detailed account provided by EFCC investigators, it was revealed that the contracts in question were awarded to Abubakar Sirika’s company without proper justification or adherence to procurement protocols. Furthermore, evidence suggests that substantial sums of money transferred to Engirios Nigeria Limited were subsequently dispersed to various entities without evidence of corresponding work being completed, casting doubt on the legitimacy of the transactions.

Abubakar Sirika, who holds a position within the Federal Ministry of Water Resources, has also been implicated in the scandal and is currently assisting EFCC authorities with their inquiries. The arrest and interrogation of both Sirika brothers underscore the gravity of the allegations and the determination of law enforcement agencies to hold accountable those responsible for financial impropriety within the Nigerian government.

As the investigation unfolds, stakeholders are closely monitoring developments, hoping for transparency and accountability in the pursuit of justice. The outcome of this high-profile case has far-reaching implications for Nigeria’s anti-corruption efforts and its commitment to upholding the rule of law in the face of entrenched graft and malfeasance.

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