Nigerians hail the federal government for following the release of Zainab Aliyu, the Nigerian lady who was detained in Saudi Arabia over the drug-related offense.
Zainab’s release, which has also attracted a trending reaction from the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), was as a result of diplomatic engagements between the federal government and the Saudi Arabian government.
According to the permanent secretary of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ambassador Mustapha Suleiman, the victim was released to the Nigerian Mission in Saudi Arabia.
Zainab’s ordeal started when she traveled from the Mallam Aminu Kano International Airport, Kano, and was arrested in Saudi Arabia for being in possession of Tramadol – a banned substance.
After the arrest, Zainab’s father Habib Aliyu appealed to the Nigerian and Saudi Arabian governments and the international community to intervene on her daughter’s case. President Buhari directed the AGF and minister of justice to immediately intervene in the case.
Suleiman said the release of Aliyu was realized after intense diplomatic engagements between the federal government and the Saudi Arabian government.
According to him, the federal government made very fruitful efforts to establish Zainab’s innocence, adding that the government sent a verbal note to the Saudi Embassy in Abuja and its Consulate in Kano over the matter.
“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.
“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,” he said.
The ambassador further disclosed that another Nigerian, Ibrahim Abubakar, was also wrongly detained and will also be soon released. “He was not released because the authorities got to his detention center during the close of work’,” Sulaiman added.