A Federal Capital Territory High Court, Abuja, on Thursday granted the former Minister of Aviation and Aerospace, Hadi Abubakar Sirika, bail.

The court also granted his daughter, Fatimah Hadi Sirika and in-law, Jalal Hamma bail.

Sirika, his daughter, son-in-law and Al-Duraq Investment Ltd, were charged to court over alleged N2.7bn fraud in connection with the botched Nigerian Air project by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission.

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Before the trial judge, Justice Sylvanus Orji granted the bail request of the defendants, they pleaded not guilty to all the charges preferred against them after it was read out to them.

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Sirika was docked on a 6-count amended criminal charge before Justice Oriji.

The prosecution counsel, Rotimi Jacobs SAN, had informed the court of an amended charge by the EFCC dated May 7, and filed on May 8, which was not opposed by the counsel to the defendants.

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The defendant’s lead counsel, Kanu Agabi (SAN), who is Sirika’s counsel, informed the court of his client’s bail application dated May 6.

The other defendants similarly, moved their bail applications and prayed the court to be liberal in the bail conditions.

Jacobs, on his part, told the court that all the defendants were on administrative bail and asked the court to grant bail on the condition that would make them appear for their trials.

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After listening to all the parties, Justice Orji granted the bail application to each of the defendants in the sum of 100m with two sureties each.

He added that one of the sureties must own a landed property with valid land titles in like sum within the Federal Capital Territory.

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The judge also held that the sureties must depose to an affidavit of means while he barred the defendants from travelling outside the shores of the country without its permission.

Justice Orji added that failure to fulfil the bail conditions would earn the defendants a stay in a correctional facility.

He said, “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 trial was subsequently fixed for 10, 11 and 20 June.

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