The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has summoned the former Minister of Aviation, Hadi Sirika, to appear before the commission.
The anti-graft agency had also questioned officials of the Nigerian Air over the recent launch of the airline in Abuja.
THISDAY gathered that while the minister was due to appear before the commission within the week to answer questions related to the launch of the airline, Nigerian Air, garbed in Ethiopian colours, the commission had already grilled some supposed officials of the national carrier.
When contacted, spokesman of EFCC, Wilson Uwujaren, confirmed that there was an ongoing investigation but could not give further details.
“I can confirm that there is an ongoing investigation in that regard,” he said.
Competent sources told THISDAY that the commission would look at the N3 billion sunk into the project though some stakeholders insisted that over N80 billion was expended on the project.
The minister had, at the twilight of the Buhari’s administration, caused the supposed launch of the Nigerian Air in Abuja using an Ethiopian aircraft.
Stakeholders were enraged that an Ethiopian airline that landed in Nigeria with Ethiopian colours was packaged as a national carrier.
The minister had said at a recent Arise News Channel interview that the landing of the Ethiopian aircraft in Abuja, was “a marketing strategy.”
“We have already questioned some officials of Nigerian Air.
“We have invited the former Aviation minister, Hadi Sirika.
We are expecting him within the week”, the source said.
The Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) disclosed last week that the airline was still on the first stage in a five-phase process of obtaining Air Operator Certificate (AOC) to operate as a commercial airline.
The Airline Operators of Nigeria (AON) had also consistently opposed the idea on several grounds.