Mr. Tajudeen Anifowose, a staff of the Lagos State Pilgrims Welfare Board, has been arrested.
He was arrested in connection with the alleged extortion of 1672 pilgrims by the Lagos State Muslim Pilgrims Welfare Board when they forced pilgrims to pay a higher amount for animal sacrifices called Hadaya.
He was nabbed by the Nigerian police operatives from Zone 2, Lagos, over the extortion of N46million from 2022 Hajj pilgrims.
Anifowose was picked up by men of the police force after several failed attempts.
He was arrested in connection with the extortion of 1672 pilgrims by the Lagos State Muslim Pilgrims Welfare Board when they forced pilgrims to pay a higher amount for animal sacrifices called Hadaya.
The pilgrims were expected to pay for an animal sacrifice.
SaharaReporters had reported that 555 Saudi Riyals 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 Riyals leaving a huge sum of N46million.
SaharaReporters gathered that in a bid to democratise the extortion, the Lagos Muslim Pilgrims Welfare Board shared the extorted sum 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 proceed of crimes, totaling about N46million with unsuspecting members of the board and staff. Each member of the 36 member 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.
Confirming the arrest to SaharaReporters, a top source said Anifowose allegedly defrauded about 17 intending pilgrims of over N26million.
“Anifowose was also fingered in several sharp and corrupt practices in the management of the pilgrimage services, defrauded over 17 intending pilgrims of over #26 million.
“He used his closeness to the Executive Secretary to exploit the obvious closeness to deceive his victims. Those intending pilgrims ended up in a scam and refused pilgrimage services of the board.
“The intending pilgrims reported their predicament to the board which forced Mr. Anifowose to elope. All attempts by the pilgrims to recover their monies or getting their application processed failed and they all failed to perform the hajj,” the source told SaharaReporters.
The victims subsequently reported their cases to Zone2 of the Police, which invited the Board’s Executive Secretary for questioning last Tuesday.
The Executive Secretary was allowed to go after his statement was obtained but the police flagged Anifowose’s bank account.
“Unknown to Mr. Anifowose, the police had put a red alert on his account before his last attempt to make withdrawal from the account at a new generation back.
“He was subsequently, arrested by the bank security and the police from Zone 2 called in to take possession,” the source added.
The immediate past Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, Ambassador Zubairu Dada, …