A 29-year old Plateau state-born teacher, Lohnan Joseph, has been intercepted while trying to board a Saudi Arabia bound flight at Sultan Abubakar III International Airport, Sokoto on Sunday.
Joseph, a Christian and a former teacher at Global Kids Academy, Sokoto, was said to have joined the screening line of Zamfara State intending pilgrims, who were about to board the flight in the early hours of Sunday.
Speaking to newsmen, Alhaji Mukhtari Lugga, the Zamfara Commissioner for Environment and one of the state’s Hajj officials, who was among the people who spotted and consequently intercepted the suspect, said that “Joseph just came from nowhere and joined their line during the screening.”
“He was easily identified as an alien among them because he was not wearing the uniform. This was what drew our attention to him and we quickly notified the police who came and picked him up for interrogation.”
Lugga said that 40 pieces of 10,000 France Franc, eight pieces of 5,000 France Franc, one piece of 1,000 France Franc and N610 in different denominations were found in his possession as well as his personal belongings and credentials concealed in a black bag.
Asked why he, as a Christian, joined the line of pilgrims boarding a hajj flight, Joseph said: “I am a Nigerian, so I don’t believe in discrimination, whether you are a christian or Muslim”.
He also said that he wanted to be like Herbert Macaulay, whom he read, had travelled to London amidst difficulties .
Joseph also said that his mission was not to travel but only to visit the airport and come back.
While parading the suspect, Sokoto state Commissioner of Police, Alhaji Shu’aibu Gambo, said the suspect was intercepted at around 9 a.m, as he attempted to join the screening line of Zamfara pilgrims.
Gambo said that Joseph had said at his interrogation that he wanted to go to London and had mentioned names of some people as his accomplices.
The police commissioner said his men would go after the people to establish their true mission.