A 40-year-old man, Mr. Sagir Mohammed, working as an ad-hoc staff at the Nasarawa State Pilgrim Welfare Board, has allegedly duped no fewer than 20 intending pilgrims in the state of an undisclosed amount of money believed to be around fourteen million Naira.
It was gathered that Mohammed, now at large, duped his victims of the money they paid to perform this year’s Hajj in Saudi Arabia.
Confirming the incident to The Punch in a telephone interview in Lafia, the Public Relations Officer of the board, Mr. Abdulrazaq Muhammed, said the suspect, had been an ad-hoc worker of the agency for over three years.
He said, “The suspect who is at large had been working with the board for over three years before he finally duped his victims of the money, which they paid to perform this year’s Hajj in Saudi Arabia.”
Meanwhile, Governor Tanko Al-Makura, while bidding farewell to the 1,468 intending pilgrims from the state, warned them to shun anything that would tarnish the image of the state, while in the Holy Land.
He said, “This is the kind of act and perception we don’t want in the holy land where we are supposed to go and seek Allah’s mercy and the cleansing of our souls.”
He explained that the warning on stealing was crucial because Mohammed had already defrauded about 20 intending pilgrims in the state.
He described the situation as worrisome and embarrassing hence the need to emphasize it and he cautioned intending pilgrims from engaging in the act to avert a state embarrassment in the Holy Land.
He said: “I am very disappointed and angry that such is happening. The young man is one Sagir Mohammed from Azara in the Awe Local Government Area. He collected money from about 20 innocent pilgrims and disappeared.”
Al-Makura reiterated his personal commitment to do all it would take to bring the accused to face justice if he refused to come out of hiding with the money of the innocent pilgrims in his possession within the next 24 hours.