According to Daily Trust, Hadi Sirika, a former Minister of Aviation, was arrested by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) yesterday in connection with its ongoing investigation into the failed Nigeria Air project. Allegations against Sirika include conspiracy, abuse of office, misappropriation of public funds amounting to N80.06 billion, and inflating contracts during his tenure at the aviation ministry,Daily Trust reports.

He was apprehended at his residence in Abuja by EFCC operatives and taken for questioning at the agency’s Federal Capital Territory Command.

Sources indicate that Sirika is being interrogated regarding the expenditure of N8,069,176,864.00 in his ministry. The EFCC official, speaking anonymously, stated that all necessary preparations had been made before the interrogation and that Sirika would be asked to clarify his involvement in the alleged misconduct. Despite attempts to reach Sirika for comment, his phone was unreachable at the time of reporting.

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Sirika, who previously served as a member of the House of Representatives and later as a senator for Katsina North Senatorial District, was part of the Congress for Progressive Change (CPC) and served under former President Muhammadu Buhari.

In a related development, it was learned that the EFCC plans to summon all directors who were dismissed from their positions under Sirika’s leadership in the aviation ministry. The trouble reportedly began with these directors following numerous petitions from stakeholders, particularly aviation unions and civil society organizations, urging an investigation into the sector after the failure of the national carrier project.

Furthermore, the EFCC has not lifted restrictions on an account linked to Sirika’s younger brother, Abubakar Ahmad Sirika, which allegedly facilitated money laundering. In February, the agency froze an account belonging to Abubakar after approximately N3.2 billion was traced to his company, Engirios Nigeria Limited. Investigators claim that contracts awarded by the ex-minister to his brother’s company were not fulfilled, and payments made for them were subsequently transferred to various entities without any evidence of work being done. Despite attempts to contact Abubakar for comment, the Sirika family has chosen not to address the matter publicly.


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