The Zamfara State Hajj Commission has said it has discovered N774million as an outstanding balance not refunded to 504 prospective pilgrims in the state from 2019 to date.
The chairman of the commission, Musa Mallaha, revealed this during the commission’s inaugural meeting, according to the News Agency of Nigeria.
Mallaha said that from 2019 to date, the immediate past administration had not refunded N775 million to the 504 prospective pilgrims who deposited their money with the commission.
“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 Governor 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 not refunded. I complained to the governor, and after my appointment as chairman to this commission, the governor directed me to investigate the matter and ensure justice for everyone involved,” stated Mallaha.
Mallaha further discovered that the commission had 16 accounts in different banks and requested the accountant-general’s office to verify all the accounts, leading to the recovery of 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,” added Mallaha.
According to him, currently, the commission has a total balance of N92 million out of the outstanding N775 million to be paid. Mallaha said the Zamfara government would continue the investigation and ensure justice.
“You know, government is a continuous process; I am therefore appealing to Governor Dauda Lawal to pay all the intended pilgrims their rights,” Mallaha said.
According to the report, during the meeting, Mallaha presented appointment letters to the recently appointed five permanent commissioners and 18 part-time commission members on behalf of Governor Dauda Lawal.