Former Aviation Minister, Hadi Sirika, 3 others charged for N2.8billion fraud

former Minister of Aviation, Hadi Sirika, arriving the court for arraignment

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, on Thursday, charged former Minister of Aviation, Hadi Sirika and three others, Fatima Sirika, Jalal Hamma and Al Buraq Global Investment Limited before Justice S. Oriji of a Federal Capital Territory, FCT, High Court sitting in Abuja.

They were arraigned on six count amended charges of contract fraud to the tune of N2.825billion.

As the defendants were taken to the dock, lead prosecution counsel, Rotimi Jacobs, SAN, informed the court of an amended six count charges and prayed that the defendants be allowed to take their pleas. All the four defence counsels, Kanu Agabi, SAN, counsel to Hadi Sirika, 1st defendant, Mohmud Magaji, SAN, counsel to Fatima Sirika, 2nd defendant, M.J Numa, SAN, counsel to Jalal Homma, 3rd defendant and Okpai Addafu, SAN, counsel to Al Buraq Global Investment, 4th defendant) did not object to the prayer and Justice Oriji ruled that the defendants should take their pleas.

Jalal Hamma, one of the defendants

Thereafter, all the defendants pleaded not guilty to their charges when they were read to them. Following their pleas, all the defence counsels reminded the court of bail applications before it and the prosecution counsel did not oppose the applications.

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Justice Oriji consequently admitted all the four defendants to bail in the sum of N100million each, with two sureties each. Sureties should have landed properties in Abuja with Certificates of Occupancy signed by the Minister of the Federal Capital Territory.

All the sureties should depose to affidavits of means.

All the four defendants should not travel outside the country without the leave of the court.

He remanded all the defendants at the Kuje prison until they meet the bail conditions.

He also adjourned the matter till June 10, 11 and 20, for commencement of trial.

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