A Nigerian pilgrim identified as Solomon Ogbuehi has reportedly absconded in Israel.
This was disclosed in a statement by the Nigerian Christian Pilgrim Commission (NCPC), which noted the pilgrim’s guarantor has been arrested.
Celestine Toruka Head, Media and Public Relations of the commission said in a statement on Tuesday in Abuja that Solomon Ogbuehi was part of Lagos State contigent when he absconded in July.
“It is instructive to state that the commission in its pilgrim’s form which every intending pilgrim must fill before undergoing screening exercise conducted by the commission, makes provision where a guarantor must attest to the character of the intending pilgrim.
“And specify in writing and duly sign that he or she would take full responsibility in the event that the pilgrim absconds in the Holy Land.”
Toruka said that it was based on this that the guarantor, Chidi Ogbuehi, was arrested.
He said the guarantor had claimed to be an official of the Pentecostal Fellowship of Nigeria and a lecturer with Anchor University, Ipaja, Lagos.
“He was arrested by the law enforcement agents on 1st August 2022, for aiding his brother, Solomon Ogbuehi to abscond in Israel during pilgrimage exercise, having committed himself by attestation and by accepting full responsibility,” he added.
According to the NCPC spokesman, the abscondee travelled to Israel as a self-sponsored pilgrim and claimed to be an Evangelist with the Mountain of Fire and Miracles Ministry.
“On the expiration of his pilgrimage exercise, Mr Solomon Ogbuehi could not return to the country, having absconded in Israel.
“His guarantor, Mr Chidi Ogbuehi, failed to produce him based on the fact that he was the one who guaranteed him and promised to be held responsible for the pilgrim’s action.
“NCPC will leave no stone unturned to ensure that Mr Chidi Ogbuehi pays for aiding his brother to abscond during pilgrimage.
“Except he produces him, this would serve as a deterrent to other would-be guarantors and potential abscondees,” he added.