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img_1036There was a standoff yesterday 23 October, 2016 at the Millwall NASFAT Mosque when members resisted the enforcement of an order issued by the parent leadership of the Muslim organisation in Nigeria. The UK and Ireland leadership clashed with the local congregation but things was later brought under control following the intervention of the metropolitan police.
In the last one year, our UK media partner, Black heritage radio has been following a case of £100,000 fraud perpetrated by the now expelled exco members of the south east London base of NASFAT led by Abdulhakeem Ajonbadi, Abdulwaheed Olanegan Chair and deputy respectively.
Ajonbadi and Olanegan being signatories to the mosque account were last year discovered to have embezzled £100,000 after their series of forged and false account balance presented to the congregation was uncovered.
Congregants became suspicious when the exco repeatedly turned down various offers of suitable and affordable purchase of a permanent place of worship, eventually the cover up became apparent after the financial secretary, Lokman Ogunbadejo was discovered to have signed and issued 46 cheques despite not being a signatory.
BHR got wind of the story and in our tradition of presenting a balanced report, we approached and got assurances together with email communication from NASFAT UK & Ireland that the matter is being investigated and that all the affected officers have been suspended and banned from holding elective positions in the organisation. We dropped our investigation until news came to us a few days ago of the clash in the Mosque.
Our investigation into the embezzled funds revealed that one Yusuf Eyitayo was given £7500 for a marriage ceremony which later turned out to be a sham, Dahood Awolesi got £6000 to help extend his student visa, Ganiyu Mowowole got £1000 for immigration issues, money was also given for the setup of an office in expectation of a Nigeria state government contract job which never materialised, a cheque of was even issued in an Igbo name.
When we presented our findings to the leadership of NASFAT UK & Ireland, they confirmed the fraud and assured us of the Nigeria leadership’s resolve to root out the problem but it appears the local congregation at Millwall has lost confidence in the UK and Nigerian leadership. They took steps to guard the remaining funds (now £110,000) by expelling the board of trustee put together by the leadership and in their place, constituted trusted members into new signatories to the organisation’s account.
This move angered the NASFAT leadership and they decided to remove the names of the trustees on the UK charity commission website replacing them with names the congregation described as ‘questionable characters’ like Abdulazeez Agboola Bankole – part of the old brigade who allegedly borrowed £4000 from the misappropriated funds, Jamiu Tola Akorede, a former banker, Toyeebat Ashale Alliu, Ibrahim Hamza – a man who although was thought not to have directly benefited from the fraud but lost his reputation and respect for being part of the old brigade and did not play his role satisfactorily, and Tajudeen Babatunde Salau who the congregation swore is not even a member of Millwall mosque.
When the police arrive at Millwall Mosque yesterday, they told the opposing parties that the Nigeria headquarters of NASFAT has no right to issue order for the takeover of a charity organisation registered in the UK. The standoff has now officially brought the fraud incident to the attention of the metropolitan police, something some local Millwall congregants have suggested all along but was being supressed by the NASFAT UK & Ireland leadership due to the fact that some of the members involved have immigration issues. We shall keep you posted of development as they unfold.
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