#FreeZainab: Buhari orders AGF to save Nigerian student from Saudi authorities

President Buhari and Zainab Aliyu.

President Muhammadu Buhari has directed the Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Mr. Abubakar Malami, to intervene in the case of Nigerian student detained by Saudi authority.

Zainab Aliyu, a student at Maitama Sule University, Kano, who travelled for Lesser Hajj in December 2018, was detained by the Saudi authorities for allegedly being in possession of banned substance.

Senior Special Assistant to the President on Foreign Affairs and Diaspora, Mrs. Abike Dabiri Erewa, said this in a statement by her media aide, Mr. Abdur-Rahman Balogun, on Monday in Abuja.

“President Muhammadu Buhari gave the directive immediately the matter was brought to his attention about two weeks ago.

“My office has been working with the AGF as well as the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in that regard,” she said.

The presidential aide assured that progress was being made in Zainab’s case, along with two others held in similar circumstances in Saudi Arabia.

“Zainab, although detained, has not been put on trial by the Saudi Arabia government.

“And with the hard evidence that those who implicated her have been arrested, a strong legal case is being made to the Saudi authorities,” she said.

Mr. Habib Aliyu, the father of the alleged drug courier, Zainab, had appealed to the Federal Government to intervene in her daughter’s case and save the ‘innocent’ lady from being executed wrongly.

Aliyu also called on the Saudi authorities and the international community, as well as well-meaning individuals, to intervene.

Zainab’s father had expressed displeasure over his daughter’s arrest and detention in a Saudi prison in spite of the recent discovery that she was framed by some drug cartel.

He had explained that the allegations of Zainab entering the country with Tramadol was absolute falsehood, as recent events and arrests had confirmed the girl’s innocence.

Zainab had travelled from Malam Aminu Kano International Airport in company of her mother, Mrs. Maryam Aliyu, and sister, Hajara Aliyu.

She was later arrested over allegations that a luggage bearing her name tag contained the unlawful substance.

Zainab, who was accused of entering Saudi Arabia with illegal dose of Tramadol, was later discovered to be a victim of a cartel that specialised in smuggling hard drugs into travellers’ bags.

According to the statement, some members of the drug cartel are already in the custody of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency.


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