Sirika ( Former Minister of Aviation), along with his daughter Fatima, son-in-law Jalal Sule Hamma, and Al Buraq Global Investment Limited, stood before Justice Sylvanus Oriji at the Federal High Court in Abuja, facing six-count charges of fraud. Both Fatima and Jalal Sule Hamma pleaded not guilty to the allegations, mirroring Sirika’s plea.

Their defense attorneys swiftly moved for bail, emphasizing their clients’ innocence. Justice Oriji granted bail at ₦100 million each, requiring two sureties with equal sums. The sureties had to be reputable citizens with verifiable addresses, with one holding property endorsed by the FCT Minister. The judge also barred the defendants from leaving the country without court authorization. Failing to meet these conditions would result in remand in prison until bail terms were met.

The trial was scheduled to commence on June 10th, marking a significant milestone in the legal saga. Sirika’s tenure under President Buhari’s administration came under scrutiny as the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) took aim at alleged malfeasance. The EFCC’s determination to arraign Sirika and the others underscored the gravity of the accusations.

The charges laid out in the indictment, as detailed by Channels Television, depicted Sirika’s purported misuse of his ministerial authority to favor his family and associates with lucrative contracts. Notably, in February, the EFCC’s investigation led to the arrest of Sirika’s brother, Abubakar Sirika, further entangling the family in allegations of contract fraud within the aviation ministry.

During his tenure, Sirika faced a litany of accusations, ranging from conspiracy to money laundering, with the total sum involved staggering at N8,069,176,864. The EFCC’s revelation shed light on the financial intricacies of the alleged misdeeds, particularly concerning four aviation contracts awarded to Engirios Nigeria Limited, a company owned by Sirika’s younger brother.

As the legal proceedings unfolded, Nigerians are waiting to see how the court and EFCC will handle the matter.