Alleged N2.8b fraud: ‘Contract Awarded To Ex Aviation Minister Sirika’s in-law, Firm Not Executed’

Alleged N2.8b fraud: ‘Contract Awarded To Ex Aviation Minister Sirika’s in-law, Firm Not Executed’
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A High Court of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) in Maitama yesterday heard that the N1.4 billion Apron Extension contract at the Katsina Airport awarded to a firm linked to the son in-law of former Aviation Minister Hadi Sirika was not executed as at May last year.

A former Director of Procurement in the Federal Ministry of Aviation, Azubuike Okorie, who testified before the court, said the firm, Al Buraq Global Investment Limited, was one of the companies to which the contracts at the Kastina Airport were awarded.

Okorie said he was the Special Assistant to the Aviation Minister on Projects between 2022 and 2023 and was also the Chairman of the Project Implementation Committee which was responsible for monitoring and evaluating projects to ensure proper execution.

The witness said when his committee visited the Katsina Airport for projects monitoring and evaluation, Al Buraq and other contractors were not on the ground.

Okorie was testifying as the prosecution’s first witness (PW1) in the trial of Sirika, his daughter, Fatima, his son-in-law, Jalal Sule Hamma, and Al Buraq Global Investment Limited on a six-count charge brought against them by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).

In the charge, the EFCC accused Sirika of conferring undue advantage, between April 2022 and March 2023 in Abuja, on some entities allegedly owned by his associates.

The EFCC alleged that Sirika abused his office by awarding N1.3 billion consultancy contract for the Nigerian Air start-up to a firm, Tianero Nigeria Limited.

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It alleged that Sirika used his “position to confer unfair advantage upon Al Buraq Global Investment Limited, whose alter ego, Fatima Hadi Sirika, and Jalal Sule Hamma, are your daughter and son-in-law, respectively, by using your position to influence the award to them the contract for the Apron Extension at Katsina Airport for the sum of N1,498,300,750”.

Fatima is said to be a staff member of the Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited (NNPCL) while Jalal Sule Hamma is described as an employee of the Nigerian Upstream Petroleum Regulatory Commission (NUPRC).

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