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41 intending pilgrims of Yobe State swindled of over N60,000,000


From Yahaya Wakili, Potiskum
Over N62,361,000 of no fewer than 41 Yobe State intending pilgrims from Potiskum Local Government Area of Yobe State has been embezzled by the state’s Pilgrims Welfare Board and the Local Government Council officials who had been arrested by the state’s Police Command,
The command’s Police Public Relations Officer, DSP Jafiya Zubairu, told newsmen that the officials allegedly diverted deposits made by 41 intending pilgrims from the local government and could therefore not secure visas for them.
Confirming that the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) arm of the Yobe Police Command is currently investigating the matter, DSP Zubairu said ‘however, I cannot give the exact number of those involved and other details as investigation is still ongoing’.
However, the Potiskum Hajj fare collector, Alhaji Ibrahim Mohammed Nalado, who has been saddled with that responsibility for the past eight years, told our reporter that he alone cannot (mis)appropriate such a huge amount of money and that the council Chairman, Alhaji Muhammed Musa Potiskum, and a former chairman of the state pilgrims board can shade more light on the depositors’ funds.
According to Neptune Prime’s investigations, such cases of depositors’ funds developing wings and denying intending pilgrims fulfilling their hearts’ desire has been rampant in Potiskum for some years. Such frauds were easily covered as the people involved were always less than 10.
Further investigations by our reporter reveals that this matter too would have been covered had it not been for ‘bad luck’ because Potiskum Local government Council, in panic, wanted to sell plots of land at the Livestock Market and Dorawan Mashaya but met with resistance from the locals. The money realized from the land deals would have been used to cover up the crime.
All efforts to hear from the Local Government Council Chairman, Alhaji Muhammed Musa Potiskum, proved abortive as his phone was switched off.
Meanwhile, Alhaji Muhammad Umar, Baraden Pataskum, the state chairman of NARTO, who also has paid the hajj fare for 10 people has appealed to the Yobe state Governor, Alhaji Ibrahim Gaidam to, as a matter of urgency, wade in and resolve the issue in good time so as to enable them perform this year’s hajj.
However, the Speaker of the State House of Assembly, Alhaji Adamu Dala Dogo, has assured the affected persons that even though most of the state’s intending pilgrims had been transported to the holy land,  the legislature would liaise with the executive arm of government to ensure that they perform their religious obligation.

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