Habeeb Muhammed with Abdullahi Ganduje, ex-governor of Kano State.

15.09.2023 Featured Ganduje’s Associate Habeeb Muhammed Holds On to Doctors’ N7.8m for Saudi Work Visa

Published 15th Sep, 2023

By Opeyemi Lawal

In October 2022, medical doctor Idowu Adekoya (not real name) and three of his friends made the decision to relocate to Saudi Arabia to continue their practice there.

The four medical professionals got in contact with Ali, a travel agent, who told them he would help them secure working visa applications in the country for N3 million each.

Adekoya told FIJ that after they contacted Ali, they sent him money and expected the process to commence, but they didn’t know that at the other end of the spectrum was Habeeb Muhammed, a former personal assistant to the Deputy Governor of Kano State on Youth and Sport and an associate of Abdullahi Ganduje, former governor of the state who is now the national chairman of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC).

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“When the visa application process started, I paid a deposit of N500,000 and also went to the Saudi Arabia embassy in Nigeria for medicals,” he told FIJ.

“I was also invited for an interview and my details were captured. Later, I received a supposed appointment letter on WhatsApp from Saudi Arabia. The letter was written in Arabic, but when I translated it, I realised it was an appointment letter from a recruiting agent in Saudi Arabia.”

Adekoya stated that, as things progressed, he didn’t hear from Ali and when he probed the reason for the silence the latter said that the visa application to Saudi Arabia was being handled by Muhammed.

Screenshots of some of the money sent to Habeeb Muhammed.
Screenshots of some of the money sent to Habeeb Muhammed.

“When things became delayed and our visas were not coming, we began to ask Ali questions and this was when we knew Muhammed was involved. Ali told us Muhammed was the boss and he had sent all the money we sent to him to Muhammed,” Adekoya said.

“We then wrote a petition against him to the Kano State police command but he was not arrested due to his political connections. He managed to evade arrest by bribing his way out of the case.

“We know he is a wealthy and well-known man but we do not understand why he is refusing to pay us.”

Screenshot of money sent to Habeeb Muhammed.
Another of the screenshot.

Adekoya said, the only time Muhammed attempted to pay, he paid N900,000 to a police officer in Kano State who then shared the money amongst his colleagues.

“We didn’t come about the money we paid to Ali and Habeeb easily. We are all medical doctors who work very hard for a living. At some point, I sold my car to complete the payment,” Adekoya told FIJ.

“Ali told us the N3 million would cover for visa and flight. I paid N2 million. One of my friends also paid N2 million. While the other two people paid N1.9 million and N1.95 million respectively.

“We just want the money back from him since he didn’t do anything on the visa we agreed on.”

READ ALSO: No Visa, No Refund 3 Years After Sheyi Shobayo of Sposh Travels and Tours Took Trader’s N255,000


FIJ contacted Ali, who acted as the middleman between the doctors and Habeeb Muhammed.

In a WhatsApp conversation with FIJ, Ali said that the case was being handled by the court and they were seeking ways to make him pay.

Habeeb Muhammed with Abdullahi Ganduje, ex-governor of Kano State.
Habeeb Muhammed with Abdullahi Ganduje, ex-governor of Kano State.

“Muhammed has paid N900,000 out of the N7.8 million to the victims, but the case is currently in court,” he told FIJ.

“The case is in court because he failed to provide the visa as he promised to do. At some point, he started repaying but then stopped. This was when we took the case to court and we are hoping to get the remaining money from him.”


When FIJ contacted Hon. Habeeb Muhammed, rather than respond, he demanded to know FIJ’s location.

“You don’t want me to come to your office and you are saying I should respond and I am calling live now,” Muhammed said.

“I am sending my lawyer, we are in court 13, we have been invited to a small claim court in Secretariat here in Kano. We are in front of the justice. Are you inviting me to another court or you want my response?”

Habeeb Muhammed
Habeeb Muhammmed.

When our reporter told him it was a media house calling him, he said, “So, the media is now settling issues on theft or fraud? This is why I am demanding to know the location of your office, so I can pay you a visit.

“Let me visit your office. Send me your office address. If you don’t want me to come, there can’t be any response from me.

“I agree I saw the message you sent to me but you want me to respond and I say where is your office.

“Rather than give it to me, you said you would send me your email address. You send the email address and I will forward my response to you.”

At press time, FIJ had not received a response from Muhammed since sending him the email address on Thursday.

Published 15th Sep, 2023

By Opeyemi Lawal


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