Saudi releases Aliyu over alleged drug trafficking

The Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Mustapha Sulaiman, has said   Saudi Arabia  has released a Nigerian student, Zainab Aliyu, and Ibrahim Abubakar,  arrested for alleged drug-related offences.

Aliyu, a student of Maitama Sule University, Kano, who travelled for Lesser Hajj in December 2018, was detained by  Saudi Arabia  for allegedly being in possession of a banned drug, Tramadol.

Disclosing this in Abuja on Tuesday, the Permanent Secretary  said, “I am happy to announce to you that Zainab is with our     mission in Saudi and we believe that the other gentleman would be released before tomorrow (today).”

Sulaiman  said the release of the two detainees was the result of intense diplomatic discussions  between the  two countries.

 He  said, “We piled pressure and there have been discussions at various levels between the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and  Saudi authorities. The  ministry used all available diplomatic channels to secure her release.”

He explained said that investigations by the Federal Government revealed that a drug cartel in Nigeria placed the drugs in Aliyu’s bag, leading to her arrest in Jeddah.

 He added that the culprits had been arrested and would  be prosecuted.

 Meanwhile, the  Senate on Tuesday resolved to send a delegation led by the President of the Senate, Bukola Saraki, to Saudi Arabia to intervene in  Aliyu’s  case.

The resolution was made following the adoption of a motion sponsored by Senator Kabir Gaya.

Gaya had said, “Zainab had no idea where the said luggage came from because she came with only one luggage.

“Following her arrest, her father filed a petition. The NDLEA launched an investigation after the petition.”
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