Pilgrims Board Washes Hands Off Official’s ‘Fraudulent Action’
Aug 24, 2022
The Chairman of Lagos State Muslim Pilgrims Welfare Board, Alhaji Shakiru AbdulGafar, yesterday said the arrest of an official of the board, Tajudeen Anifowoshe, had nothing to do with the issue of ram sacrifice in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia during Hajj exercise.
Anifowoshe was arrested for allegedly duping about 20 intending pilgrims of millions of naira.
AbdulGafar said the ram sacrifice issue had been addressed by the Commissioner for Home Affairs, Prince Anofiu Elegushi, Special Adviser to the Governor on Islamic Affairs, Alhaji Abdullahi Jebe and board members in the Holy Land.
AbdulGafar, popularly called Mofesaye, said Anifowoshe’s arrest by security operatives from Zone 2 was in relation to collection of money from unsuspecting intending pilgrims to help them facilitate their visas for the pilgrimage.
He said: “The process for this year’s Hajj has been clearly explained by the Commissioner for Home Affairs that priority would be given to those who paid in 2020 and 2021 based on first come first serve. When it became obvious that the slots given to Lagos State would not be enough, another news briefing was called where the commissioner announced that the state would not be selling form for this year’s Hajj because the slots allocated by the National Hajj Commission (NAHCON) couldn’t meet up with the available people that had paid.
“It is unfortunate that Anifowoshe tried to circumvent the laid down procedures by extorting unsuspecting intending pilgrims. However, when the ministry got a hint about his unethical action, he was summoned, but refused to appear for questioning.”
Further investigation shows that the civil service rules on such matter were applied, which led to issuance of queries and suspension of his salary. With all these actions, he refused to make himself available for questioning.
The aggrieved intending pilgrims, thereafter, took the matter to the police. It was learnt that this led to his arrest by the Zone 2 operatives.
AbdulGafar, however, urged Lagosians to be wary of fraudulent people, as every inquiry on hajj exercise can be directed to the Public Affairs unit of any government ministries, departments and agencies (MDAs).