Sirika and her brother get N100 million bail

Justice Suleiman Belgore of the Federal Capital Territory High Court on Thursday granted former Aviation Minister, Hadi Sirika, and his brother, Ahmad Sirika, bail of N100 million each with two sureties of the same sum.

This followed his prosecution before the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission on 10 amended charges, bordering on abuse of power and awarding illegal contracts to the tune of N19.4 billion.

Judge Belgore granted them bail following requests from their lawyers, Micheal Noma (SAN) and Mahmud Magaji (SAN).

The judge, in a ruling, said he found no compelling reason to deny bail to the accused, noting that the prosecution did not oppose the request and that the former minister had previously been arraigned before Judge Sylvanus Oriji of the same court and was granted bail.

“The prosecution did not present any counter-statement. He (Sirika) is now out on administrative bail, has complied with all bail requests and continues to comply with bail conditions; He has never been convicted of any criminal offense in Nigeria, has received national honors, has an elderly mother whom he cares for, and the investigation into the case has concluded.

“My ruling is that this applicant deserves to be admitted to bail and so do I,” Judge Belgore said.

As part of the bail conditions, the judge said one of the sureties must own land in the Federal Capital Territory.

The judge also held that the accused should not travel outside the shores of Nigeria without the permission of the court.

He later set May 28 and 29 for the start of the trial.

In the charges, the EFCC alleged that Sirika, “while Minister of Aviation, on or about August 18, 2022, in Abuja, within the jurisdiction of this honorable court, used her position to confer an unfair advantage on Enginos Nigeria Limited. whose alter ego, Ahmad Abubakar Sirika, is her biological brother, using her position to influence the award of the contract for the construction of a terminal building at Katsina Airport for the sum of N1,345,586,500 .00”.

According to the EFCC, Sirika’s alleged action constituted a violation of Section 19 of the Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offenses Act of 2000 and was punishable under the same section.

In another charge, the EFCC alleged that “on or about November 3, 2022, in Abuja”, Sirika used his position “to confer an unfair advantage on Enginos Nigeria Limited, whose alter ego, Ahmad Abubakar Sirika, is his biological brother, by using his position to influence the award of the contract for the establishment of a fire truck maintenance and renovation center at Katsina Airport for the sum of N3,811,497,685.00.”

In another charge, he was accused of corruptly awarding a N615,195,275.00 contract to his brother for the procurement and installation of lifts, air conditioners and power generators for Aviation House in Abuja.

Furthermore, the EFCC alleged that Sirika, between August 2022 and May 2023 in Abuja, “was in possession of a total sum of N2,337,840,674.16, a sum which you knew indirectly represented the proceeds of the criminal conduct of Hadi Abubakar Sirika, who was the Minister of Aviation at that time.”

It was revealed that the former minister’s younger brother, Abubakar, was earlier arrested and detained by the EFCC in connection with N3,212,258,930.18 paid to the bank account of his company, Enginos Nigerian Limited, by the former minister.

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