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Nigerian villagers ‘tricked’ to demolish mosques

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A Nigerian man allegedly tricked several villages into demolishing their mosques, telling them his “foreign non-governmental organisation” would build new bigger buildings, authorities in the northern state of Jigawa say.

But he disappeared after collecting the roofs, windows and doors that were removed from the “small” mosques.

The suspect, who police have identified as Abba Haruna, 21, allegedly sold the materials.

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A judiciary spokesman in Jigawa state, Abbas Rufa’i Wangara, told the BBC that 14 mosques were affected.

Usaini Wanzam Ilyasu, a traditional ruler in one of the villages who also spoke to the BBC, said the suspect even paid labourers who demolished their community mosque.

He said the man had asked local building block makers to start supplying materials to the supposed building site. But when the alleged fraudster left, he never came back.

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He was arrested after mosque officials in another community he visited got suspicious and raised the alarm. —BBC

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