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The Patriot Institute of Journalism and Arts (PIJA), Lance Magazine is a public-centric independent media organisation dedicated to fighting injustice, fostering social justice and community development through the telling and retelling of the marginalised-oriented stories.

Alleged Son of Former NURTW Chairman Dupes Seven, Absconds With N8.3m Hajj Fees


A man, identified as Kareem Shamsudeen, who alleged that he is the son of the National Union of Road Transport Workers (NURTW) former Chairman, Alhaji Najeem Yasin, has allegedly absconded with N8.3m of seven victims meant to be used for Hajj iteration.


The amount collected from each persons were between N300k to N1.7m, totaling the N8.3m. But Alhaji Yasin has denied knowing him as his first son. And he is not picking calls of his clients, since February, 2023.


Ganiyu Salimonu, who sells phone accessories and building materials in Lagos, was also the one who introduced his friends to Shamsudeen’s promises of Hajj slots.


But Salimonu has said he doesn’t know Shamsudeen too and was introduced to him by one of his friends who said he was willing to join one of their Offa Descent, WhatsApp group. “The friend, was also allegedly scammed by Shamsudeen,” Mr Salimonu said. “From there (the Offa descent group), we get to know each other and I regarded him as son of Alhaji Yasin. I even saved his number as ‘Tunde Yasin’.”

Alleged Son of Former NURTW Chairman Dupes Seven, Absconds With N8.3m Hajj Fees
Kareem Shamsudeen, or Kareem Babatunde Shamsudeen, Kareem Tunde and Tunde Yasin

Salimonu was the one who serves as the bridge between Shamsudeen and the victims. He was the one who sent all the money sent to him by his friends to Kareem Shamsudeen or Kareem Tunde or Kareem Babatunde Shamsudeen.


“The only one (payment) I did not pay to him directly was the first person who paid him. I was the one who transferred other people’s money to him,” Mr Salimonu said.


It took them four months to discover that they have been defrauded, thanks to one Oriyomi who visited Lagos Hajj Commission to confirm some documents given to them by the culprit.


“It was early May that we discovered all to be fraud. That was even before we approached National Hajj Commission of Nigeria (NAHCON) to verify documents he gave us. We were suspicious when he refused to pick our calls. Lagos NAHCON confirmed the documents and receipts to be fakes.


“One of the duped persons (Muhyideen Oriyomi) had to find alternative to Makkah for Hajj. It was he who made the first attempt to go to Hajj Commission for confirmation after Tunde stopped picking calls.


“N1.7m times seven is N11.9m. We would have paid it all, we noticed he was a dubious person when he didn’t organise hajj seminar. He would say that he was running around to make sure people who bought slots from him were in the first batch. He told us he was communicating with Prince Anofiu Olanrewaju Elegushi, Lagos Commissioner for Home Affairs.”


Shamsudeen said he was contesting Offa Local Government Chairmanship and “he usually sends me his pictures, asking me to do flyers for him,” Mr Salimonu said. “All these were his schemes for me to believe him, I never know.”


Shamsudeen claimed he was a member of the All Progressive Congress (APC) and “was also the coordinator of one APC support group called BAT Progressive Movement (BPM), so we believe him,” Mr Salimonu said.


How it all began?

After the presidential election in February, 2023, Shamsudeen told Mr Salimonu that the support group for Bola Tinubu election was given two Hajj slots and members were fighting on them, thus they resolved to sell them and distribute the money. “We negotiated to N1.7m for each slot. We bought them,” Mr Salimonu said.


“Later, he said Hajia Kafilat Ogbara, current APC Rep for Kosofe Federal Constituency, Lagos State gave him two more slots. Tunde claimed that he was able to get the slots from her through the intervention of his father, Alhaji Najeem Yasin. We bought them, making five.


“He would later come back to tell us that one of his friends, a personal assistant to Femi Gbajabiamila is a Christian and didn’t need the two hajj slots. He claimed to be negotiating with him, but later he said the friend agreed. Tunde (Shamsudeen) even suggested I meet Gbajabiamila himself. He said he would arrange for the meeting.


“The last one, which totalled them to seven, was when he called me himself that Oniba Ekun of Iba, HRH Oba (Alhaji) Sulaiman Raji Adeshina, Asade 1, (Jafo Authority) has given him hajj ticket too. He said he didn’t want to go due to multiple projects he was engaged in. He said he wanted me to go. That he wanted to compensate me. I said I was not interested in hajj for now, that was when one of my friends said he would like to take the opportunity as I was not interested.”


Mr Salimonu and seven other victims have said they believed him because of his ‘claimed’ affiliations with Alhaji Najeem Yasin, “whom they knew and respected, very well.”


One of the convincing reasons for the trust was that “he (said he was) is from Offa and same area as my second wife (Mr Salimonu). He spoke with my wife the first day he told me he’s from Aponbi Compound and it was coincidental that they knew each other. She however called me back the second day to warn me not to depend on him as it was a long time since they spoke,” but Mr Salimonu never listened.



Several attempts by the PIJAlance Research and Investigations Desk (RID) to reach Kareem Shamsudeen were greeted with strict deadlocks as repeated calls were left unanswered and were never returned as of the time of filing this report.


RID later chatted with him through a pseudonym Mattias Ogochukwu, and he said he currently resides in Abuja.


‘Ogochukwu’ only discussed with him as an admission seeker until his cover was blown.


Since then, Shamsudeen has not been picking calls even with another lines.


This is not the first time Kareem Shamsudeen will conduct an organised financial fraud with none of his attempts have him apprehended. The Police and the OPC this time were unable to nab him in, again when consulted by Mr Salimonu.


Based on this, his biological parents who were later found were prevented to be arrested.


“We understand this this is why we say even arresting his parents in Offa will come to nothing,” Mr Salimonu said.


Read Also: Dreams for Chains: How Phony Entrepreneurial Fund by KESEM Plans to Scam Youth in Business

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