Sirika Pleads Not Guilty to Alleged ₦2.7bn Fraud, Gets ₦100m Bail

Former Aviation Minister Hadi Sirika, along with his daughter, son-in-law, and a firm, Al Buraq Global Investment Limited, have pleaded not guilty to corruption charges totaling about N2.7 billion brought against them by the Federal Government.
Appearing before Justice Sylvanus Oriji at the Federal High Court in Abuja, all defendants denied the six-count charges leveled against them.
After their pleas, their respective lawyers applied for bail, which Justice Oriji granted, setting bail at ₦100 million each with two sureties in the same amount.
The sureties must be responsible citizens with verifiable addresses, with one owning landed property certified by the FCT Minister.
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 also prohibited the defendants from leaving the country without court permission and set June 10th for the trial to commence.
Sirika, who served under former President Muhammadu Buhari, faces accusations of fraudulent contract awards to his family members and associates during his tenure as minister.
This development comes after the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) announced plans to arraign Sirika and the others.
In February, the EFCC arrested Sirika’s brother Abubakar Sirika over an alleged contract fraud in the aviation ministry.
During his tenure as minister, Sirika faced allegations including conspiracy, abuse of office, diversion of public funds, contract inflation, criminal breach of trust, and money laundering totaling N8,069,176,864.
The EFCC had revealed that the funds in dispute related to four aviation contracts awarded by the former minister to a company called Engirios Nigeria Limited, which is owned by his younger brother.
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