PICTURES: Ex-Aviation minister, others deny fraud charges, granted bail

Former Aviation Minister, Hadi Abubakar Sirika, has been granted bail by Justice Sylvanus Orji of the High Court of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).

When the charges were read to him, Sirika denied the alleged corrupt practices involving about N4.135 billion brought against him by the federal government.

Sirika was arraigned along with his daughter, Fatima, his son-in-law Jalal Sule Hamma and a firm – Al Buraq Global Investment Limited.

The daughter and son- in-law also pleaded not guilty to the six count charges when read to them.

They were put on trial by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) on behalf of the federal government.

After taking pleas, their lawyers moved applications for their bail which was granted by the Judge.

Kanu Agabi moved the bail application on behalf of Sirika, the 1st defendant.

Jacobs told the court that all the defendants are on administrative bail and asked the court to grant bail on the condition that will make them appear for their trials.

Justice Orji admitted the three defendants on bail in the sum of N100 million and two sureties each in the like sum.

The sureties by the Judge pronouncement must be responsible citizens with verifiable home address while one of them must have landed property with certificate of occupancy signed by the FCT Minister.

The Judge ordered that the defendants must not travel out of the country without the permission of the court.

If unable to perfect the bail conditions, Justice Orji ordered that they be remanded in prison custody till the time of perfection of bail conditions.

He held “I admit the 1st, 2nd and 3rd defendant to bail in the sum of 100 million each with 2 sureties of like sum.

“One of the sureties must have a landed property within the Federal Capital Territory.

“The defendants must not travel outside the country.

“Any of them who is unable to fulfil the bail conditions will be remanded in the correctional centre”.

The court has fixed June 11, 2024 for trial of the defendants.