The launch of Nigerian Air has sparked a controversy, particularly after it was revealed that an Ethiopian Airlines aircraft, painted in Nigerian Air colors, was used for the inauguration.
By Johnson Atoukudu-
The immediate past Minister of Aviation, Senator Hadi Sirika, has been summoned by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) to appear before them in relation to the recent controversial launch of Nigerian Air in Abuja.
According to reports, the EFCC has also interrogated officials from Nigerian Air, as the launch has raised concerns among industry stakeholders.
The launch of Nigerian Air has sparked a controversy, particularly after it was revealed that an Ethiopian Airlines aircraft, painted in Nigerian Air colors, was used for the inauguration. This has led to dissatisfaction among stakeholders who believe that a national carrier should not rely on a foreign airline for its launch.
In response to the allegations, Sirika defended the use of the Ethiopian Airlines aircraft, calling it a “marketing strategy.”
However, it has been discovered that Sirika has not yet attended the EFCC’s invitation.
Furthermore, it has been revealed that several officials of the contentious national carrier, including the Acting Managing Director, Captain Dapo Olumide, have been summoned for questioning.
An official close to the development said, “The former aviation minister, Sirika has been invited by the commission over an ongoing investigation which includes the Nigeria Air project.
“Although Sirika is yet to honour the commission’s invite, some other officials of Nigeria Air have been questioned, and the acting MD was invited for questioning too,” a source revealed.
“Sirika wasn’t the only person that was invited, other officials were invited too, and some of them have been interrogated and their statements taken by the commission but Sirika is yet to appear for questioning.”
In response to our correspondent’s inquiry, Wilson Uwujaren, the spokesperson for the EFCC, confirmed the situation and stated that Senator Hadi Sirika had been invited by the anti-graft agency as part of an ongoing investigation.
However, Uwujaren mentioned that he could not provide confirmation regarding whether the former minister had attended the invitation or not.