Lagos Pilgrimage Board Secretary Lobbies Top Government Officials To Cover Up Extortion Of N46million From Hajj Pilgrims

Meanwhile, it was gathered that there is a serious discontent with the board as a particular member has openly accused the Chairman of sidelining members in the total amount realized.

Some underground efforts have begun to cover up the grand corruption and exploitation of over N46million from 2022 Hajj pilgrims by the Lagos State Muslim Pilgrims Welfare Board, SaharaReporters has learnt.

SaharaReporters had exclusively reported that over N46million was exploited from 1,672 pilgrims under the guise of Hadaya (animal slaughtering), a rite usually performed at the annual Hajj in Mecca, Saudi Arabia.

It was reported that 555 Saudi Riyards was collected from each of the 1672 Pilgrims for rams but the board employed the service of a Saudi Arabia collaborator who was given 300 Saudi Riyards leaving a huge sum of N46million.

The genesis of the exposure was where the Special Adviser to the Lagos State Governor, Imam Jebe, who also doubles as contractor for collection and slaughtering of the Hadaya ram returned to the Lagos camp in Mecca with pieces of meat from his slaughtered Hadaya.

Some other pilgrims who paid through the board then queried why same meat was not provided for them.

Following the exposure of the scandal by SaharaReporters, the board has been making frantic move to cover the grand corruption.

As part of efforts to cover the corruption, SaharaReporters gathered that the board has lined up some journalists to assist with concocting responses to the allegations, instead of inviting law enforcement agencies or even instituting a panel to probe corrupt practices.

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According to an insider source, the Executive Secretary of the board, Imam AbdulHakeem Kosoko, was spotted meeting with top officials of the Lagos State Ministry of Home plotting how to exonerate the agency of any wrongdoings.

“The Executive Secretary who refused to clear the air on the issue was seen rushing to and spotted at the Ministry of Home of Affairs where he is suspected to be mobilizing PRO of Ministry and other officials for the responses. likely coming public by Wednesday,” the source said.

Meanwhile, it was gathered that there is a serious discontent with the board as a particular member has openly accused the Chairman of sidelining members in the total amount realized from all dealings on behalf of the agency.

The member complained that they were given peanuts without declaration of total proceeds by the Chairman, which includes the Hadaya money that was collected through him.

This corroborates a previous report by SaharaReporters that the Lagos Muslim Pilgrims Welfare Board shared part of the N46million extorted from Hajj pilgrims among its members.

A top source who was aware of the sharing confirmed to SaharaReporters that while sub-committee members got $100, committee members got $200.

“To prevent staff and members of the pilgrims board from further spilling the beans, the Chairman of the board decided to share the proceeds of crimes, totaling about N46million with unsuspecting members of the board and staff. Each member of the 36 membered sub-committee was given $100.

“Each of the board members, 6 of them, got $200 each, while some of the regular staff of the board got between 100 and 200 Riyads,” the source said.

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An inside source privy to the funds sharing also revealed that the board currently patronizes a company called the crescent, not accredited for such services by the Hajj Commission or Saudi government, in the diversion of funds and operational mismanagements.

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