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Buhari sacks christian pilgrims commission boss

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Nigeria’s President Muhammadu Buhari Tuesday approved the immediate termination of the appointment of Tor Uja, as the Executive Secretary, Nigerian Christian Pilgrim Commission (NCPC).

“Rev. Ujah has, therefore, been directed to hand over to Mrs Esther Kwaghe, Director of Administration in the Commission, who is to oversee the Office, pending the appointment of a Substantive Executive Secretary,” director of information at the office of the secretary to the government of the federation, Willie Bassey,said in a statement on Tuesday

Ujah was accused of allegedly diverting the commission’s funds about six months ago.

“The secretary to the government of the federation is in receipt of a report, alluding to the fact that the funds of the Nigeria’ Christian Pilgrims Commission are being mismanaged,” a document signed by the SGF’s legal adviser, Emmanuel Akissa, said.

The SGF had reportedly instituted a panel which was made up of eight people, headed by the chairman of the NCPC’s board, Yomi Kasali, to investigate the allegations.

Ujah was said to have allegedly diverted $229,000 meant for pilgrims’ visit to Israel, Greece and Rome in July 2017, among other allegations. He was also suspected to have diverted $103,000 in 2018.

But he denied the allegations and said the funds were used for the hiring of a hall during the bidders’ education workshop, which held in Israel 2018.

Bassey, however, affirmed that Ujah’s sack is in line with the provision of section 4, sub-section 3 of the Nigerian Christian Pilgrim Commission Act.

Uja’s predecessor John Kennedy Opara was also sacked in May 2016. The then Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Babachir Lawal, said Buhari in the exercise of his powers, approved the disengagement of Opara without stating reasons.


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