N8bn Money Laundering Probe: Former Aviation Minister, Hadi Sikira, Arrested by EFCC

By Joke Kujenya

THE Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), has taken former Minister of Aviation, Hadi Sikira, into custody as part of an ongoing investigation into alleged money laundering totaling N8,069,176,864,00.

Sikira, indicted in the probe, arrived at the EFCC’s Federal Capital Territory Command around 1.00pm on Tuesday.

It was noted that at the EFCC’s Wuse Office in Abuja, the arrival of the embattled former minister as he met with anti-graft investigators to respond to allegations of fraudulent contracts awarded to one Engirios Nigeria Limited, a company reportedly owned by his younger brother, Abubakar Sikira.

Sikira’s arrest according to reports, is connected to a probe into an aviation ministry contract totaling N8,069,176,864,00 allegedly executed in collusion with his brother’s company.

Reports had about a year ago emerged that the EFCC was scrutinizing activities within the Aviation Ministry during Sikira’s tenure, while the agency was said to be investigating possible conspiracy, abuse of office, diversion of public funds and contract inflation.

The investigation was also said to have encompassed allegations of criminal breaches of trust and money laundering during Sikira’s time of office, with funds totaling N8,069,176,864,00 reportedly allocated to four aviation contracts awarded to Engirios Nigeria Limited.

Abubakar Sikira, listed as the Managing Director and CEO of Engirios Nigeria Limited, and the sole signatory to the company accounts, has also been detained by the EFCC in connection with N3,212,258,930,18 transferred to the company’s bank account by his brother, the former minister.

Despite the substantial funds allocated, there is reportedly no evidence of any work completed on the contracted items to date.

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