Nigeria: Former Aviation Minister and Daughter Placed under Travel Ban in N2.7bn Fraud Case

Nigeria: Former Aviation Minister and Daughter Placed under Travel Ban in N2.7bn Fraud Case

By Zuleihat Owuiye, Mamos Nigeria

On fry, the Federal Capital Territory High Court in Abuja imposed a travel ban on the immediate-past Minister of Aviation, Hadi Sirika, his daughter Fatimah, and son-in-law Jalal Hamma. The ban comes as they face trial for an alleged N2.7bn fraud.

Justice Sylvanus Orji ruled that Sirika, Fatimah, and Hamma must not leave the country until the conclusion of their trial. The trio was arraigned by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) on six counts related to the alleged fraud.

According to the EFCC, Sirika is accused of abusing his office by awarding a consultancy contract worth N1.3bn to Tianero Nigeria Limited for the Nigerian Air Start-up. This act is said to contravene Section 19 of the Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Act, 2000.

In another count, the anti-graft agency alleges that Sirika used his position to confer an unfair advantage upon Al Buraq Global Investment Limited, a company in which his daughter and son-in-law are involved. It is alleged that Sirika influenced the award of a contract for the Apron Extension at Katsina Airport, amounting to N1.498,300,750.00. This action is also said to violate Section 19 of the Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Act, 2000.

The EFCC further accuses Sirika of criminal breach of trust while serving as the Minister of Aviation. The defendants, however, pleaded not guilty to the charges.

After a bail application by the defense counsel, the judge granted each defendant bail in the sum of N100m with two sureties in like sum. One of the sureties must own a landed property within the Federal Capital Territory. The defendants are also prohibited from traveling outside the country without permission. Failure to meet the bail conditions will result in their remand in a correctional facility.

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