The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has taken into custody Abubakar Ahmad Sirika, the younger sibling of Hadi Abubakar Sirika, the former Minister of Aviation.
His apprehension on Sunday, February 4, 2024, is part of the ongoing probe into the Aviation Ministry’s operations. Allegations against him stem from his involvement in contracts totaling N8 billion while his brother was in office.
Despite being a civil servant, holding the position of deputy director at Level 16, he purportedly received contracts from the ministry. The charges leveled against him include conspiracy, abuse of office, diversion of public funds, contract inflation, criminal breach of trust, and money laundering, amounting to N8,069,176,864.
The EFCC asserts that these contracts were awarded to a company named Engirios Nigeria Limited, owned by Sirika’s younger brother. Notably, he is listed as the company’s Managing Director/CEO and the sole signatory to its bank accounts at Zenith and Union banks.
Sources within the EFCC revealed that the former minister allegedly granted these contracts despite knowing that his sibling held a position in the Federal Ministry of Water Resources since 2000. The first contract, awarded on August 18, 2022, involved the construction of a Terminal Building in Katsina Airport, priced at N1,345,586,500. Subsequently, on November 3, 2022, a contract worth N3.8 billion was given for the establishment of a Fire Truck Maintenance and Refurbishment Centre in Katsina Airport.
The third contract, dated February 3, 2023, pertained to the procurement and installation of lifts, air conditioners, and a power generator’s house in Aviation House, Abuja, costing N615 million.
Lastly, on May 5, 2023, a contract valued at N2.2 billion was awarded for the procurement of Magnus Aircraft and a simulator for the Nigerian College of Aviation Technology, Zaria. Despite these substantial sums, investigations have revealed no evidence of work being completed on any of the contracted items to date. Out of the total contract amount, N3.2 billion was reportedly disbursed to Engirios Nigerian Limited, which subsequently transferred the funds to various companies and individuals.
Abubakar Sirika is currently in EFCC custody, where he is cooperating by providing additional information on the financial transactions within the Aviation ministry. The probe into these alleged irregularities underscores the government’s commitment to combatting corruption and ensuring transparency in public service operations.
As the investigation progresses, further revelations may shed light on the extent of malfeasance within the ministry and hold accountable those responsible for misappropriation of public funds.