HURIWA Calls For Sirika’s Arrest Over alleged ‘Fraudulent’ Nigeria Air

Civil rights advocacy group, Human Rights Writers Association of Nigeria, (HURIWA), on Wednesday, asked anti-graft agencies, especially the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) to arrest the immediate past Minister of Aviation, Hadi Sirika over the grossly suspicious and “fraudulent” national carrier project called Nigeria Air.

HURIWA, in a statement by its National Coordinator, Emmanuel Onwubiko, said the sham hurriedly unveiled by Sirika May 26, 2023, the last official day of the Muhammadu Buhari administration is suspect.

The group said the EFCC should swing into action to probe the former minister now that the Senate and House of Representatives Committees on Aviation have separately declared that the project is a fraud.

HURIWA’s Onwubiko said, “The revelations coming out on the Nigeria Air project is a putrid smell of deep-rooted corruption in the Federal Ministry of Aviation under the eight-year watch of the then Minister, Hadi Sirika.

“The Interim Managing Director of Nigeria Air, Capt Dapo Olumide told legislators on Tuesday that the aircraft paraded as Nigeria Air plane belonged to Ethiopian Airlines and not to Nigeria whereas the then minister paraded the aircraft as being originally owned by Nigeria. This is fraud of the highest order and the lawmakers have labelled it so including the suspension of all activities regarding the sham called national carrier.

“The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) must swing into action now that both the upper and lower chambers have declared the project as a fraud. The anti-graft agency must swiftly arrest, investigate and prosecute the ex-minister if found culpable.

“There are a lot of questions that Sirika must be made to answer including the whereabouts of the N85 billion splurged on the project. In fact, aside that the so-called national carrier has not secured a single aircraft for its operations, it has also failed to secure Air Operating Certificate (AOC) from the Nigeria Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA).

“Sirika must account for the N85 billion taxpayers’ fund allegedly wasted on that alleged ‘fraud’ called national carrier.”

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