Nigeria Air: Probe Buhari, others – CSO tells EFCC, ICPC

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A civil society organisation, Centre for Human Rights and Accountability Network, CHRAN, has called on anti-graft agencies, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) and the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC), to probe the former President of Nigeria, Muhammadu Buhari, over his role in the alleged fraudulent launch of Nigeria Air.

It also called for immediate arrest and investigation of the former Minister of Aviation, Hadi Sirika, and all those involved in the alleged scam for them to face the full wrath of the law if found wanting.

In a statement signed by CHRAN Chairman in Akwa Ibom, Otuekong Franklyn Isong, and the Deputy Director, Public Affairs, Comrade Vincent Aluu, and obtained by our correspondent in Uyo, Akwa Ibom capital, “the launch which took place on the last day of the Buhari’s government, was criminal and aimed at defrauding the people.”

The statement said, “On May 26, 2023, Nigerians woke up to the news of the launch of a new national carrier, bearing the insignia of Nigeria Air with an Ethiopian Air registration number.

“CHRAN observes that 24 hours after the purported launch, the airline was seen among the Ethiopian Air fleet.

“According to the confession of the acting Managing Director of Nigeria Air, Captain Dapo Olumide; aviation industry stakeholders and the revelation of the Aviation Committee, House of Representatives, CHRAN is shocked that the launched airline was hired from Ethiopian Air for public display and that the exercise allegedly gulped over N140 billion without any tangible outcome.

“After a careful review of the process, CHRAN notes that the exercise was fraudulent, intentionally designed to divert public funds, highly opaque, shrouded in secrecy, shoddy and capable of ridiculing and tarnishing the image of Nigeria before the international community if not properly investigated.

“CHRAN, therefore, calls on the anti-graft agencies, such as the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), and the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) to immediately invite former President Buhari for questioning, for him to explain to Nigerians his role in the entire sham, and how over N140 billion was allegedly spent on a fraudulent project under his supervision.”

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