JIGAWA, July 1st: A man has removed the roofs and doors of many mosques in three LGAs of Jigawa State under the pretext of building new ones.
The man, identified by the police as Abba Haruna, 21, was later discovered to be a swindler, who after removing the roofing sheets and doors of the mosques sold them to scrap merchants.
The police spokesman in the state, DSP Lawal Shi’isu Adam, said the fraudster was arrested and charged to court.
In one of the instances, the spokesperson of the magistrates’ court in Kiyawa town, Abbas Rufai Wangara, said Haruna was accused of vandalising and stealing roofing sheets, doors and windows from a mosque.
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The British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) had reported that the suspect carted away materials belonging to 14 mosques in Taura, Kiyawa and Jahun LGAs of the state.
The Village Head of Kanoke, Ussaini Wanzam Ilyasu, said Haruna came to the village a couple of weeks ago claiming that he was working with an Arab NGO that would build a bigger mosque hence that they should demolish the old building.
He said, “So, after demolishing a section of the mosque, saying he would use it for filling; he collected the roofing sheets, windows, doors and hand-pump borehole and went away with the materials.
“He even paid the labourers who demolished the mosque. He paid those who removed the rooftop N5,000, electricians N2,000, while those who demolished the courtyard were also paid N5,000.”
The village head said Haruna was arrested while attempting to trick another community which officials raised alarm after being suspicious of his visit to the community.
He further said, “When he entered Katika community for the same act, since they had knowledge about our own experience, they became wary of him. They came to us, intimating us that they caught a man who came to remove their mosque’s roofing.
“Immediately I set my eyes on him I recognised him. When he was asked of the whereabouts of our mosque’s materials, he said he’d sold them.”
The village head added that now whenever it rained, Muslims in the community observed prayers indoors.