The Zamfara State Pilgrims Board says 504 prospective pilgrims in the state are yet to be paid back N774m they deposited for hajj pilgrimage.
The Chairman of the commission, Alhaji Musa Mallaha, during his inaugural meeting in Gusau stated that the sum is being owed to the pilgrims who paid the amount since 2019 till, adding that the money should have been refunded since the owners were not able to complete their payment for the spiritual journey.
Mallaha stated that the immediate past administration had failed to refund the money with victims cutting across the 14 local government areas in the state.
“This commission has been owing N775 million for 504 intended pilgrims from across the 14 local government areas who were not able to complete payment for hajj seats from 2019 to date. You know, I was appointed by Gov Dauda Lawal as Amirul Hajj for this state in the 2022 hajj.”
“Many people in this state have complained to me that they have deposited their money in the commission for pilgrimage over the years but were not refunded.”
He stated that he took the complaints to the state governor who gave a directive to investigate the matter and ensure justice is done for everyone involved.
“We further discovered that the commission had 16 finance accounts in different banks, I requested the office of the State Accountant-General to verify all the accounts after which we recovered N254 million. We further discovered that parts of the money deposited previously by the intending pilgrims had been used for free hajj tickets and renovation of the state’s Hajj Camp by the immediate past administration.”
According to him, currently the commission had a total balance of N92 million out of the outstanding N775 million to be paid.
He said the state government would continue with the investigation and make sure that justice was done to the matter.
“You know, government is a continuous process, I am therefore appealing to Gov. Dauda Lawal to pay all the intended pilgrims their rights,” he said.
The chairman also presented appointment letters to the recently appointed five permanent commissioners and 18 part-time members to the commission, which was done on behalf of the governor.
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