Sunday, December 4, 2022

Pilgrimage absconder arrested upon return to Nigeria

Mr Ezekiel was among the six pilgrims who absconded in Israel during the 2019 Easter Pilgrimage.

• September 29, 2022
NCPC
Nigeria Christian Pilgrim Commission (NCPC)

The Executive Secretary, Nigerian Christian Pilgrim Commission, Yakubu Pam, says the annual pilgrimage to the Holy Land is not for people to abscond from Nigeria, but get closer to God.

A statement by the commission’s spokesman, Celestine Toruka, on Thursday in Abuja, said that Mr Pam made the remarks when he met with a pilgrim who absconded in 2019 while in Israel.

The abscondee, Olajiire Ezekiel, was arrested by the State Security Services (SSS) on May 6, 2022 on his return to Nigeria.

The NCPC helmsman warned that the commission would not condone any attempt to use its platform to tarnish the image of Nigeria.

Mr Pam assured that the commission had taken new measures to prevent pilgrims from absconding.

“All steps are being taken by the commission to stop this monster,” he added.

He commended security operatives, especially the SSS, Lagos State Christian Pilgrims Welfare Board and NCPC officials for their coordinated efforts in arresting the abscondee.

Mr Ezekiel was among the six pilgrims who absconded in Israel during the 2019 Easter Pilgrimage.

The NCPC forwarded their details to the SSS to be placed on its watch list.

Mr Ezekiel was immediately intercepted by the operatives of the SSS at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Lagos and detained.

His guarantor was made to pay $5,000 as bond for his bail.

“NCPC will stop at nothing to achieve zero abscondment of pilgrims, the case of Mr Olajiire Ezekiel should serve as a deterrent to others.

“It is also instructive to state that every absconded pilgrim will be fished out by the security operatives on arrival in Nigeria no matter how long the pilgrim stays,” Mr Pam said. 

(NAN)

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