…By Lola Smith for TDPel Media.
The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has summoned the immediate past Minister of Aviation, Hadi Sirika, to appear before the commission.
The purpose of his appearance is to address questions regarding the recent launch of the airline Nigerian Air, which garnered attention for its resemblance to Ethiopian Airlines.
EFCC Investigates Nigerian Air Officials
In addition to summoning Hadi Sirika, the EFCC has also questioned officials of the Nigerian Air in relation to the airline’s launch in Abuja.
The anti-corruption agency is delving into the details surrounding the establishment of Nigerian Air, which sported Ethiopian colors.
Confirmation of Ongoing Investigation
Spokesman for the EFCC, Wilson Uwujaren, confirmed the existence of an ongoing investigation in response to inquiries.
While specifics were not disclosed, Uwujaren acknowledged that the EFCC is actively looking into the matter.
Scrutiny on Project Expenditure
Sources familiar with the investigation have indicated that the EFCC will examine the utilization of N3 billion in the project.
However, some stakeholders have claimed that the total expenditure on the Nigerian Air venture exceeded N80 billion, causing further concern and potential scrutiny.
Controversy Over the Ethiopian Airlines Connection
Stakeholders and the public expressed frustration and anger at the fact that the Nigerian Air, portrayed as a national carrier, arrived in Nigeria adorned in Ethiopian colors.
The misrepresentation raised questions about the legitimacy and branding of the airline.
Minister’s Explanation and Ongoing Inquiries
During a recent interview, Minister Hadi Sirika defended the Ethiopian aircraft’s landing, labeling it as a “marketing strategy.”
In light of this explanation, the EFCC’s investigation aims to gather more information and clarity on the matter.
Expected Appearance of Hadi Sirika
The EFCC has formally invited Hadi Sirika, the former Aviation Minister, to provide answers and further insights into the launch of Nigerian Air.
He is expected to appear before the commission within the week, as part of their ongoing investigation.
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