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EFCC nabs Sirika over alleged Nigeria Air fraud

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EFCC nabs Sirika over alleged Nigeria Air fraud

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The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has arrested the former Minister of Aviation, Hadi Sirika.

On October 17, 2022, former President Muhammadu Buhari had assured Nigerians that the establishment of a National Carrier for Nigeria was at 91 per cent completion, and was expected to commence flight operations before the end of that year.

However, a FACT-CHECK by Daily Trust newspaper in May 2023 revealed that the Nigeria Air plane flown into Abuja belonged to Ethiopian Airlines.

Investigations showed that the aircraft flew for its original airline up till Sunday. It embarked on a trip from Addis Ababa to Tel Aviv in Israel, according to the flight history.

Flightradar, the popular flight tracking website, said the aircraft operated between Tel Aviv and Mogadishu, Somalia, still on May 21, 2023.

On 20th May, it operated both Mogadishu in Somalia and Beirut on 20th May while the previous day it also serviced Beirut, the capital of Lebanon.

He was arrested in connection with alleged money laundering amounting to N8,069,176,864.00 linked to the Nigeria Air scandal.

This platform recalls that during the administration of Muhammadu Buhari, a Nigeria Air was presented to citizens, a claim that was later discovered to be fraud.

Daily Trust gathered that the EFCC’s Federal Capital Territory Command took custody of the former Minister around 1:00 pm on Tuesday.

Immediately upon the former Minister’s arrival at the EFCC FCT command, the anti-graft agency investigators began interrogating him regarding alleged fraudulent contracts he authorized for a company called Engirios Nigeria Limited, which is owned by his sibling, Abubakar Sirika.

Daily Trust