Court grants Hadi Sirika, brother N100m bail each in fresh charge

Hadi Sirika

A FCT High Court on Thursday granted a former minister of aviation Hadi Sirika and his brother Abubakar Sirika bail in sum of N100 million each and two sureties each in like sum.

The brothers and and a company Enginos Nigeria Ltd are facing a fresh 10-count charge of fraud to the tune of N19.4 billion.

They are accused of abuse of office, criminal breach of trust and use of position for gratification among others.

Ruling on the bail applications by the defendants, Justice Suleiman Belgore said, “I find considerable merit in this application. He is a presumably innocent fellow not likely to jump bail. He deserves to be granted bail and I so do.”

The judge adopted the terms and conditions of bail granted to the former minister in another case marked CR/348/ 2024 where the defendant is standing trial alongside his daughter and son-in-law.

Belgore said: “I see no reason to depart from the bail terms granted to him in that suit”.

He later adjourned until May 28 for commencement of trial.

The EFCC had on May 9 arraigned Sirika alongside his daughter, Fatima, son-in-law, Jalal Sule and Al Daruq Investment Limited before Justice Sylvanus Oriji, also of the FCT High Court, Maitama on an alleged N4.1billion contract fraud.

The four defendants were charged with offences bordering on contract fraud, corruption and gratification.

They, however, pleaded not guilty to the charges.

Justice Oriji admitted each of them to a bail in the sum of N100 million with two sureties each in like sum.

The judge ruled that each of their sureties must depose to affidavit of means, while one of the two sureties for each of them must possess landed property within the Abuja Municipal Area Council (AMAC) covered by valid certificate of occupancy duly signed by the FCT minister.

The EFCC alleges that Sirika did confer unfair advantage upon Enginos Nigeria Limited, whose alter ego is his biological brother, Ahmad, by using his position to influence the award of contract for the construction of a terminal building at Katsina airport for the sum of N1,345,586,500.

The anti graft agency further alleged that the former minister used his position to influence the award of contract for the establishment of Fire Truck Maintenance and Refurbishment Centre at Katsina airport for the sum of N3,811,497,685.

It also, among others, alleged that Ahmad and Enginos Nigeria Limited had possession of an aggregate sum of N2,337,840,674.16 which they knew indirectly represented the proceeds of criminal conducts of the former minister.

The alleged offences, according to EFCC, were committed in Abuja between August 2022 and May 2023.