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Court grants Buhari’s Minister, Hadi Sirika, daughter N200m bail

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Hadi Sirika in court


A former Aviation Minister, Hadi Abubakar Sirika on Thursday at the High Court of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT ) denied the alleged corrupt practices involving about N4. 135 billion brought against him by the federal government.

Sirika was arraigned before Justice Sylvanus Oriji along with his daughter, Fatima, his son-in-law Jalal Sule Hamma and a firm – Al Buraq Global Investment Limited.

The daughter and son- in-law also pleaded not guilty to the six count charges when read to them.

They were put on trial by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) on behalf of the federal government.

Following their denial of the fraud charges, their respective lawyers moved applications for their bail which was granted by the Judge.

While Kanu Agabi SAN argued bail for Sirika, Mahmoud Magaji SAN stood for Fatima while Sunusi Musa SAN made case for Jalal Sule Hamma.

Micheal Numa SAN represented Al Buraq Global Investment Limited at the Thursday’s proceedings.

Although, the bail request was opposed by the federal government counsel, Rotimi Jacobs SAN, Justice Orijin admitted the three defendants to bail in the sum of N100M and two sureties each in the like sum.

The sureties must be responsible citizens with verifiable home addresses while one of them must have landed property with certificate of occupancy signed by the FCT Minister.

The Judge ordered that the defendants must not travel out of the country without express permission of the court.

If unable to perfect the bail conditions, Justice Orijin ordered that they should be remanded in prison custody till the time of perfection of bail conditions.

The court fixed June 10 and 11 for resumption of trial of the defendants.

Part of the accusations against them are consultancy contract fraud for Nigerian Air (N1,326,731,670.97), contract for Apron Extension at Katsina Airport (N1,498,300,750.00); and gratification (N1,310,142,051.16)

The charge indicated that the defendants committed the alleged offense between April 2022 and March 2023

It also indicated that all the offences are contrary to Sections 12 and 19 of the Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Act 2000, to Section 17 (b) of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (Establishment) Act, 2004 and Section 315 of the Penal Code Act, Cap 532 Acts of the Federal Capital Territory and punishable under the same sections.

The charge read “That you – Hadi Abubakar Sirika – while being the minister of Aviation between April 2022 and March 2023, in Abuja within the jurisdiction of this Honourable Court, did use your position to confer unfair advantage upon Tianaero Nigeria Limited, whose alter ego Prof. Gabriel Tilmann, is your Associate by using your position to influence the award to them, the consultancy contract for the Nigerian Air Start-up and extension of same for the sum of N1,326,731,670.97 and you thereby committed an offence contrary to Section 19 of the Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Act 2000 and punishable under the same section

“That you – Hadi Abubakar Sirika while being the Minister of Aviation on or about 16th August 2022 in Abuja within the jurisdiction of this Honourable Court did use your 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 N1,498,300,750.00 and you thereby committed an offence contrary to Section 19 of the Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Act, 2000 and punishable under the same section.

“That you Hadi Abubakar Sirika, while being the Minister of Aviation and in such capacity as a public officer on or about 18th August, 2022 in Abuja within the jurisdiction of the Honourable Court entrusted with certain property to wit the sum of N1,498,300,750.00 committed criminal breach of trust in respect of the said property by being dishonestly connected with the illegal award of contract for the Apron Extension at Katsina Airport, to and for the benefit of Al Buraq Global Investment Limited whose alter ego are Fatima Hadi Sirika and Jalal Sule Hamma, your daughter and son-in-law respectively and you thereby committed an offence contrary to Section 315 of the Penal Code Act, Cap 532 Acts of the Federal Capital Territory and punishable under the same section.

“That you – Hadi Abubakar Sirika – while being the Minister of Aviation, Fatima Hadi Sirika while being a public servant and an employee of the Nigerian National Petroleum Company Ltd and Jalal Sule Hamma while being a public servant and an employee of Nigerian Upstream Petroleum Regulatory Commission on or about 18th August 2022 in Abuja within the jurisdiction of this Honourable Court, did knowingly hold indirectly private interests in the contract for the Apron Extension at Katsina Airport for the sum of N1,498,300,750 00 awarded to Al Buraq Global Investment Limited whose alter ego are Fatima Hadi Sirika and Jalal Sule Hamma which contract was awarded on account of public service and you thereby committed an offence contrary to Section 12 of the Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Act, 2000 and punishable under the same section.”

“That – you Fatima Hadi Sirika, Jalal Sule Hamma and Al Buraq Global Investment Limited – between 2022 and 2023 in Abuja, within the jurisdiction of this Honourable Court had possession of an aggregate sum of N1,310,142,051.16 which sum you knew indirectly represented the proceeds of criminal conducts of Hadi Abubakar Sirika who was the minister of Aviation at the time (to wit use of office or position for gratification in respect of the said amount), and you thereby committed an offence contrary to Section 17 (b) of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (Establishment) Act, 2004 and punishable under the same section.

“That you – Hadi Abubakar Sirika – while being the minister of Aviation and in such capacity as a public officer between April 2022 and March 2023 in Abuja within the jurisdiction of the Honourable Court entrusted with certain property to wit, the sum of N1,326,731,470.97 committed criminal breach of trust in respect of the said property by being dishonestly connected with the illegal award of the Consultancy contract for the Nigerian Air Start-up and extension of same to and for the benefit of Tianaero Nigeria Limited whose alter ego Prof. Gabriel Tilmann, your Associate and you thereby committed an offence contrary to Section 315 of the Penal Code Act. Cap 532 Acts of the Federal Capital Territory and punishable under the same section.”

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