The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has extended an invitation to Hadi Sirika, the former minister of aviation during President Muhammadu Buhari’s previous administration, to appear before the anti-graft agency.
This comes after Nigerian Air officials were previously interrogated regarding the last-minute launch of the airline in Abuja, an event overseen by Sirika.
Sirika is expected to attend a hearing scheduled within the week to address inquiries concerning the Ethiopian-themed launch of Nigerian Air. Reports indicate that the EFCC had already conducted interviews with individuals associated with the national carrier.
Wilson Uwujaren, spokesperson for the EFCC, confirmed the ongoing investigation but refrained from providing further details.
Uwujaren stated, “I can confirm that there is an ongoing investigation in that regard.” Moreover, sources within the agency revealed that the EFCC plans to investigate the alleged misappropriation of N3 billion allocated to the Nigeria Air project, despite claims from some stakeholders that over N80 billion was spent.
Shortly after the end of President Buhari’s tenure, Sirika announced the establishment of Nigerian Air, utilizing an Ethiopian aircraft. This move caused frustration among stakeholders who criticized the decision to present an Ethiopian-colored plane as the national carrier.
Sirika now becomes the second minister from President Buhari’s administration to be summoned by the EFCC, following the invitation of Pauline Tallen, the former minister of women’s affairs.