The payment was meant to be optional for pilgrims but the state officials ensure compliance of Lagos pilgrims.
Some Nigerian pilgrims to Saudi Arabia have accused top officials of the Lagos State Government of forcing them to pay a higher amount for animal sacrifices.
In Saudi Arabia during the hajj, pilgrims are expected to pay for an animal sacrifice.
The sacrifice, known as the hadi, is incumbent on all pilgrims, who must donate at least two-thirds of the meat to the poor.
Speaking to SaharaReporters, the pilgrims alleged that the officials collected 555 Saudi Riyards from each of the 1672 Pilgrims for rams but employed the service of a Saudi Arabia collaborator who was given 300 Saudi Riyards.
They claimed the Lagos officials led by the Commissioner for Homes Affairs, Anofiu Olanrewaju Elegushi and Special Adviser to the Governor on Islamic Matters, Jebe Abdullahi Kolawole, pocketed the remaining 255 Saudi Riyards on each pilgrim.[story_link align="left"]111295[/story_link]
A top source said, “It is the same Lagos Pilgrim officials, including the SA to the Governor and Commissioner for Home Affairs. They collected 555 Saudi Riyards from each pilgrim (1672 of us) for Sallah rams. Rather than spend the amount, they employed the service of a Saudi collaborator, gave him a 300 riyards and pocketed 255 riyards on each pilgrim.
“1672 multiply by 255 and 110, that’s N46,899,600 on rams alone. This is outside the other corrupt practices on BTA, hoarding and illegal sale of hajj forms.
“Though the Saudi authorities and National Hajj commission, the regulatory bodies frowns at such actions but the Lagos official were adamant. The payment was meant to be optional for pilgrims but the state officials ensure compliance of Lagos pilgrims.
“Some of the pilgrims, on knowing the truth about the fraud are protesting and holding the Lagos State Governor responsible with threats of taking it out of him during forthcoming elections.”
SaharaReporters had last week reported some infractions by government officials in the ongoing hajj exercise scheme which also led to the deportation of some pilgrims.
Seven intending pilgrims from Kano State, who departed to Jidda, Saudi Arabia, last Thursday, were sent back over fake visas issued to them.
Five of the deported pilgrims had travelled to Saudi Arabia for hajj through tour operators, while the two others were from the Kano State Pilgrims Welfare Board.
One of the deported pilgrims, Dahiru Yau Musa, said he said they did not know they were issued fake visas until they reached King Abdulazeez Airport.[story_link align="left"]110771[/story_link]
“We were in the queue with other pilgrims and when it was my turn, they directed me to stay behind. It was when they finished the screening of other pilgrims, they told me about the fake visa.
“They spoke with NAHCON officials. It took them some time trying to resolve the issue but all to no avail. At the end, we were told that we were being taken back to Nigeria. And the rest is history now,” he had narrated.