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EFCC Quizzed Former Aviation Minister Hadi Sirika’s Brother, Abubakar Ahmad Sirika Over Alleged N3.06B Contract Fraud

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The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) yesterday quizzed Abubakar Ahmad Sirika over an alleged N8.06 billion contract fraud in the Federal Ministry of Aviation.

Abubakar is the brother of immediate-past Minister Hadi Sirika, believed to have awarded the contracts to his sibling.

Abubakar’s arrest on Sunday was part of the ongoing probe of alleged fraudulent practices in the Ministry of Aviation during the tenure of the ex-minister.

EFCC is probing allegations of conspiracy, abuse of office, diversion of public funds, contract inflation, criminal breach of trust and money laundering.

Of the contract sum, about N3, 212,258,930.18 has been traced to Engirios Nigeria Limited, owned by Abubakar, who is a Level-16 officer, a deputy director, in the Federal Ministry of Water Resources.

It was learnt that four big contracts were awarded to Abubakar’s Engirios Nigeria Limited when his brother was in charge of the ministry.

According to EFCC investigators, Abubakar Sirika is listed as the company’s Managing Director (MD)/Chief Executive Officer (CEO).

Besides, it was found out that he is the sole signatory to the two accounts linked to the firm with two banks.

The four contracts the ex-minister awarded to his brother are:

• Construction of the Terminal Building in Katsina Airport (N1,345,586,500.00);

• Fire Truck Maintenance and Refurbishment Centre in Katsina Airport (N3, 811,497,685.00);

• Procurement and installation of elevators, air conditioners and power generator house in Aviation House, Abuja (N615,195,275.000);

• Procurement of Magnus Aircraft and simulator for Nigerian College of Aviation Technology, Zaria (N2, 296,897, 404.00).

A top official of the anti-graft agency said: “In connection with the ongoing probe of the Ministry of Aviation during Hadi Sirika’s tenure, EFCC’s crack team was able to uncover four contracts, worth about N8,069,176,864.00, which were not executed.

“The sum was for four aviation contracts from the former minister to Engirios Nigeria Limited, owned by his sibling.

“While profiling the contracts, there was a payment of N3,212,258,930.18 out of the total contract sum to Engirios Nigeria Limited, which is owned by the younger brother of the ex-Minister of Aviation.

“Apart from being listed as the company’s MD/CEO, Abubakar is the sole signatory to the company’s two accounts.

“Investigators further discovered that upon the receipt of the payment, Abubakar allegedly transferred it to different companies and individuals.

“There is no trace of work done on any of the contract items to date.

“These developments led to the arrest and detention of Abubakar on Sunday by the EFCC.

“He was grilled for several hours yesterday. He is providing the commission with additional useful information on the financial activities of the Aviation Ministry under the supervision of his elder brother.”

It was learnt that the contract awards and the timelines were between August 2022 and May 2023.

A document obtained by the media reads in part: “It is suspected that the ex-Minister, Hadi Sirika awarded the contracts to his brother Abubakar, knowing that he is a senior civil servant, working since 2000.

“The first of the controversial contracts awarded to Engirios Nigeria Limited was on August 18, 2022, for the construction of the Terminal Building in Katsina Airport.

“The second was awarded on November 3, 2022, for the establishment of the Fire Truck Maintenance and Refurbishment Centre in Katsina Airport.

“The third contract was on February 3, 2023, for the procurement and installation of elevators, air conditioners and power generator’s house in Aviation House, Abuja.

“The fourth was awarded on May 5, 2023, bearly 24 days to the end of the Buhari Administration tenure, for the procurement of Magnus Aircraft and simulator for Nigerian College of Aviation Technology, Zaria.”

It was gathered that the four contracts formed the first segment of the ongoing probe of Sirika’s tenure.

There were indications that the EFCC was looking into the Nigeria Air controversy.

There was also controversy about how much was released for the Nigeria Air project.

While some critics alleged that N85 billion was expended on it, Sirika claimed that N5 billion was approved but N3 billion was released.

He said his administration did not spend the N3 billion before he left office.

Sirika said: “In 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020, 2021, 2022, and 2023, all of the monies voted and budgeted for the national carrier was N5 billion.

“But all that was released is in the neighbourhood of about N3billion, not N85billion and all of the N3billion had not been expended as of the time I left office.

“What was done with the money was nothing but transaction advisory services, the AOC process, salaries, consultancy services and the offices in Abuja.

“No contract was given by Hadi Sirika or the administration at the time. These are the things that the money was used for.”

 

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LP national chairman, Julius Abure, arrested

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Julius Abure the national chairman of the Labour Party (LP), has been arrested by the police in Benin City, Edo State.

It is currently unclear the reason behind his arrest but sources say it may not be unconnected with the recent crisis rocking the party.

Recently, he was accused of forging the signatures of some political aspirants in Ebonyi and Plateau States.

Now, it has taken another dimension. This time around, it is financial allegations. Allegations coming from no other person than the national treasurer of the party, Mrs Oluchi Oparah. The Exchequer of the Labour party who is supposed to be 100% in the know of the party’s finances accused Abure of forging the signatures of the party’s late national chairman, Abdulkadir Abdulsalam to withdraw funds totalling N21 million.

Before this most recent allegation, a governorship aspirant of the party from Ebonyi state, Mr. Eze Oko, had accused the Party’s National Chairman of alleged forgery and conspiracy that led to his replacement few days to the March 18 gubernatorial election.

Specifically, Oko alleged that at the heat of political activities leading to the gubernatorial election in Ebonyi state, the national chairman initiated moves to illegally remove him as the gubernatorial candidate with an alleged forged withdrawal letter submitted to the Independent National Electoral Commission, (INEC).

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Energy Mogul, Adewale Tinubu, takes Centre Stage at Guyana Energy Conference

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Adewale Tinubu, CON, boss of energy giant, Oando Group, is always a delight to watch when in the boardroom or engaged in anything concerning business.

He usually leaves his watchers and admirers enthralled by his articulation and aplomb. He is always graceful in his fine grasp of business intricacies, with a very strong sense of deep erudition in discussions, especially in the area of economic development in Nigeria.

Of course, the foregoing may not be news to many. But what many may not know about this technocrat is that beyond his feats in the oil sector, he is endowed with oratorical power.

 That excellent trait was much on display at the ongoing Guyana Energy Conference, where the top oil player once again showcased his God-given talent.

While speaking on the topic, ‘Upstream Activities Required for a Resilient Oil and Gas Value Chain, the oil and gas mogul received intermittent standing ovations, accompanied with several rounds of applause for his dazzling and awe-inspiring speech.

Oando, Africa’s largest integrated energy solutions provider, is diamond sponsor of the third edition of the Guyana Energy Conference and Supply Chain Expo, which started on Monday, 19th February to Thursday, 22nd, 2024, attracted participation, at the highest level, from more than 21 countries also drawn in 19 sectors – outside of the energy sector.

 Participating companies at the conference tackled important concerns affecting the energy sector, as well as the challenges of climate change mitigation and maximizing the benefits of local content development in Guyana and the region.

Commenting on the conference, Mr. Tinubu posted on his social media handles.

He wrote:

 ‘’Spent the last two days at the Energy Guyana Conference and Supply Chain Expo – a first time attendee and 3rd time visitor to this beautiful country.

Myself and the #HumansofOando welcomed the President of Guyana, Dr Mohamed Irfaa1, the Prime Minister of Trinidad and Tobago Dr Keith Rowley and the Minister of Petroleum, (Trinidad and Tobago) Stuart RYoung 1 to our exhibition booth, where we walked them through Oando’s journey to date in curating Nigeria’s energy mix.

The oil and gas industry in Guyana is rapidly evolving, thus the importance of creating an enabling environment for growth cannot be understated.

Yesterday, I delivered a keynote address to industry leaders and other esteemed guests explaining the winning Oil and Gas Industry Strategy.

With the warm welcome we received we are assured of promising collaboration towards successful oil and gas venturing in Guyana’’.

Other speakers at the event include His Excellency, Dr Mohamed Irfan Ali, President of the Co-operative Republic of Guyana; Bharrat Jagdeo, Vice President, The Cooperative Republic of Guyana; the Honourable Vickram Bharrat, Minister of Natural Resources, The Co-operative Republic of Guyana; Stuart Young, Minister of Energy and Energy Industries, the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago; Antonio Almonte, Minister of Energy and Mines, the Dominican Republic; His Excellency, Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Bin Jassim Al Thani, Prime Minister of the State of Qatar; Alistair Routledge, President, Exxonmobil Guyana and Her Excellency Jane Miller OBE, British High Commissioner to the Co-operative Republic of Guyana, among several other world class personalities.

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Hope In Time Of Crisis: A Call For Unwaivering Faith In Nigeria.

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By: Ayobami Ladipo

 

 

Dear Nigerian Youths, Friends and The Social Media Community.

 

I feel the need to share some words with you this morning, not just for communication sake but because it’s the right thing to do at a time like this when we’re all groaning in pains.

 

Indeed, times are hard, the pain is unbearable, the cost of living has tripled and ripple effect of the current economic hardship on the common man can only be imagined.

 

Truth be told, we are all SUFFERING!

 

Let’s take a moment to situate this correctly, especially for those of us who are not public office holders but campaigned for President Bola Ahmed Tinubu, believed in the manifesto and still optimistic that he’ll deliver his good promises to Nigerians, it’s not been easy.

 

Believing in a mantra or giving support to the president at a time like this does not take away the pain, it doesn’t not alienate me or any of his supporters from the people or the present economic hardship, it just shows that we still believe that pain is normal when something good is about to be spring forth.

 

Standing on the mandate no mean say leg no dey pain oh, but just like Isaac believed in Abraham his father to the point of death when he had thought he would be slaughtered as a sacrifice to God before the Almighty provided a ram, we also believe that the ongoing reforms will yield a great result and restore our country’s lost glory.

 

When we stop believing, hope fades away and nothing good will come through, hence the PLEA for calm and for us all to put aside our political or ethnic differences right now, let’s persevere a little more and keep up the conversation for a better and working Nigeria.

 

We won’t stop talking, we won’t stop engaging government, we won’t stop registering our displeasure via the right channels but PLEASE let’s come together as one and show some love to one another at this trying time.

 

Just like the Bible says, weeping may endure for the night but joy cometh in the morning, May the joy of Nigeria come so quick and May we all be alive to witness a new Nigeria that’ll be full of prosperity and greatness .

 

As I conclude, I want to plead with you all that we refrain from the needless curses, insults and abuse, WE ARE ALL IN THIS TOGETHER and TOGETHER shall we witness greatness at the end.

 

Naija Shi Ma Dun

 

God Bless Nigeria 🇳🇬🙏🇳🇬

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