Few days after the Saudi Arabian government released Zainab Aliyu, another Nigerian, Ibrahim Abubakar has regained his freedom.
Abubakar was wrongly arrested for drug trafficking, to the Nigerian Mission in Jeddah.
News of his release was revealed by President Muhammadu Buhari’s media aide, Bashir Ahmad, on his Twitter account (@BashirAhmaad) on Thursday.
Ahmad stated that Abubakar’s case was similar to that of Zainab Aliyu who was released on April 30.
He wrote “Saudi Authorities release Mallam Ibrahim Abubakar to the Nigerian Consulate in Jeddah, KSA. He was arrested over alleged drug trafficking, the same offence as Zainab Habib Aliyu, who was also released recently,”
It’s unclear when and under what circumstances Abubakar was arrested by Saudi authorities but Aliyu, a student of Maitama Sule University, Kano, was arrested on December 26, 2018, for allegedly travelling with a piece of luggage containing tramadol, a banned substance.
A petition filed by Aliyu’s family later led the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) to uncover a cartel at MAKIA which specialised in planting illicit drugs in travellers’ luggage.
Aliyu’s release came after the government established her innocence, same is, however, believed to have been what led to Abubakar’s release as President Buhari’s Senior Special Assistant on Foreign Affairs and Diaspora, Abike Dabiri-Erewa, disclosed that the government was working on securing the release of three Nigerians from the Saudi Arabian government.
Saudi operates a very strict form of Islamic law and passes death sentences for crimes such as homicide, rape, and armed robbery, facing backlash from many human rights organisations.