Hajj officer accused of diverting money meant for intending pilgrims in Niger state

Nma Ndagana, the Area Pilgrims Officer (APO) in Niger State’s Bida Local Government Area, has been charged for neglecting to remit millions of naira deposited into his account for intending pilgrims by the local government.

According to the Daily Trust, 150 prospective pilgrims made payments into the APO’s personal bank account as instructed by him rather than the officially approved account held at the Jaiz Bank.

Alhaji Umar Maku Lapai, secretary of the Niger State Pilgrims Welfare Board, acknowledged this and revealed that a committee had already been formed to look into the claims. He claimed that additional people are still coming forward with identical accusations and that the complaints had been received in bunches.

It was also learnt that the number of intending pilgrims registered by the APO was more than the allocation given to his local government and he only remitted for the assigned number of people for his local government.

Lapai said; 

“There are two ways to it. For us in the Niger State Pilgrims Welfare Board, we have paid money for the 2, 265 people but we are yet to receive complete visas. It is the National Hajj Commission of Nigeria that is responsible to give us the visas.

“In the case of Bida, the number of pilgrims that he (APO) registered were above the slot he was asked to register. Those that he paid their money to us have been given visas. Those that paid their money to his account were the ones with problems. 

“We have set up a committee to find out what actually happened. The committee is still investigating. The affected people are coming in batches. In the first place, we registered 28 complaints. Later more people came and they are still coming.”

Secretary of the Niger State Pilgrims Welfare Board further revealed that if the allegations were found to be true, the official involved would not be allowed to travel, adding that the board would not take responsibility for money paid into individual accounts.

An official of the board also told the publication that the APO had been arrested by the police and was undergoing interrogation.

Related video

One comment

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.