EFCC Delves into N8 Billion Aviation Contract Scandal Involving Ex-Minister’s Brother

In a significant move against corruption within Nigeria’s aviation sector, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has taken Abubakar Ahmad Sirika into custody.
Abubakar, who is the brother of the former Minister of Aviation, Hadi Sirika, faces scrutiny over allegations of contract fraud amounting to N8.06 billion in the Federal Ministry of Aviation.

Arrested on February 4, his apprehension marks a critical juncture in the investigation into alleged corrupt practices during his brother’s tenure as minister.

The focus of the EFCC’s probe includes a series of grave accusations, such as conspiracy, abuse of office, diversion of public funds, contract inflation, criminal breach of trust, and money laundering. At the heart of the inquiry is Engirios Nigeria Limited, a company owned by Abubakar, a Level-16 officer and deputy director in the Federal Ministry of Water Resources. It has been revealed that Engirios was the beneficiary of four substantial contracts while Hadi Sirika managed the Ministry of Aviation.

These purportedly unfulfilled contracts encompass a wide range of projects including the construction of a terminal building at Katsina Airport, the establishment of a fire truck maintenance and refurbishment center, and the procurement and installation of essential equipment and facilities for the Aviation House in Abuja and the Nigerian College of Aviation Technology, Zaria. Despite the allocation of funds, there is no evidence to suggest any of these projects were executed.

A deeper investigation by the EFCC unveiled that a significant portion of the contract funds, amounting to over N3.2 billion, was transferred to Engirios Nigeria Limited. Subsequent transactions traced back to Abubakar involved the dispersal of these funds to various companies and individuals, raising suspicions of an elaborate scheme of financial misappropriation.

Abubakar’s detention and the ongoing investigation shed light on the challenges of governance and accountability within Nigeria’s public sector. As he cooperates with the EFCC, providing insight into the financial dealings of the Aviation Ministry, the case underscores the urgent need for transparency and integrity in the management of public resources. This probe not only seeks to hold those responsible accountable but also aims to restore public trust in the institutions meant to serve and develop the nation’s aviation infrastructure.


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