Zainab Aliyu is the Nigerian student who has fortunately been rescued from facing life imprisonment after being detained in Saudi Arabia over a drug related offence. Although many Nigerians are praising the federal government for the successful release, the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) asks if some Nigerians are more important than others as Leah has still to been released.
New report shows that the federal government and the Saudi Arabian government had a diplomatic engagement which led to her release, The Sun reveals.
The permanent secretary, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ambassador Mustapha Suleiman, reported that Zainab was released to the Nigerian Mission in Saudi Arabia. This was after President Muhammadu Buhari ordered the immediate intervention of the Attorney-General of the Federation (AGF) and minister of justice, Abubakar Malami in her case.
How did the Nigerian government secure Zainab Aliyu’s release from Saudi Arabia?
Ambassador Suleiman briefed journalists in Abuja that the released was secured after an intense diplomatic engagement between the federal government and the Saudi Arabian government. He said it took so many fruitful efforts by the federal government to establish she was innocent. He said it took several note verbale from the government sent to the Saudi Embassy in Abuja and its Consulate in Kano over the matter and all diplomatic channels available were used to ensure the successful release.
“We piled up the pressure of interventions and there have been discussions at various levels between the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Saudi authorities,” Suleiman added.
“In addition to that, our ministry, in conjunction with the mission in Saudi has been able to bring to the attention of Saudi, the level of the innocence of these people. “We have engaged in other diplomatic ways, we have written several note verbal, we have also from here sent the same note verbale to the Saudi embassy here and the consulate in Kano. “We have several interventions and various discussion between the Minister of Foreign Affairs and Attorney General of the Federation on this same issue. “We have passed documents relating to the trial of the suspects that were arrested in Kano, we have also passed same information of the judicial process,” Suleiman said. Obviously elated, Suleiman said the development was cheering to the Nigerian government and Zainab’s family. The ambassador further said that another Nigerian, Ibrahim Abubakar, was also wrongly detained and will also be soon released. Abubakar, Suleiman added, was not released because the authorities got to his detention centre during close of work. He is reportedly billed to be released on Wednesday, May 1.
“I am happy to announce to you that in the last couple of minutes, Zainab is with our mission in Saudi and we believe that the other gentleman will be released before tomorrow. “Because by the time they were able to get his file, it was closing hour and before they got to his location where he is being kept, it was already late,” Suleiman said.
Zainab Aliyu with Officials of the Nigerian Consulate in Jeddah, shortly after she was freed from Saudi prison. pic.twitter.com/ZyLzJIABKu
— Buhari Sallau (@Buharisallau1) April 30, 2019
A welcomed development that Zainab Habibu Aliyu is free. But that is not enough, more needs to be done to ensure freedom of all Nigerians held by Saudi Arabia’s flawed judicial system: pic.twitter.com/w53U6BvQ2M
— Amnesty Int. Nigeria (@AmnestyNigeria) April 30, 2019
How did Zainab Aliyu’s ordeal start?
Zainab is said to be a student of Maitama Sule University, Kano. She travelled from the Mallam Aminu Kano International Airport, Kano, and was arrested in Saudi Arabia for being in possession of Tramadol. This is when her ordeal started. After the arrest, Zainab’s father, Habib Aliyu, appealed to the Nigerian and Saudi Arabian governments and the international community to intervene in his daughter’s case. President Buhari intervenes Upon Aliyu’s appeal, President Buhari directed the AGF and minister of justice to immediately intervene in the case.
Zainab Aliyu is now free!!
FG has secured the release of Zainab Habibu Aliyu, Nig. student who was wrongly arrested in Saudi Arabia for allegedly involving in drug trafficking. Ibrahim Abubakar, another Nig. victim of wrongful arrest, will also be released to the Nigerian Mission in Saudi Arabia on May 1.
— Government of Nigeria (@AsoRock) April 30, 2019