Zainab Aliyu Released After Four-Month Detention In Saudi Arabia


A female Nigerian student, Zainab Aliyu, who was detained for alleged drug trafficking by the Saudi Arabian authorities arrived the Mallam Aminu Kano International Airport, Kano on Monday after spending four months in detention.

Zainab arrived the airport at exactly 10am, alongside another Nigerian, Ibrahim Abubakar, who was also detained for a similar case. They were freed following the intervention of the Federal Government.

Zainab, a 22-year-old student of the Maitama Sule University in Kano, had travelled to Saudi Arabia for lesser hajj alongside her mother and sister.

She was arrested by the Saudi police over allegations that the bag bearing her name tag contained tramadol.

She and Abubakar were released to the Nigerian mission in Saudi Arabia after the Federal Government made efforts to investigate and establish their innocence.

On arrival from Saudi Arabia, Zainab was received by her father, alongside other family members, friends and well-wishers. They thereafter boarded a waiting vehicle, which drove them to their Kundila residence, in the Tarauni Local Government Area of the state.

She was received by a jubilant crowd that had gathered at her father’s house.

Miss Aliyu was arrested on December 26, 2018, a day after her arrival in Saudi Arabia to perform the lesser Hajj.

Meanwhile, a Senior Programme Officer, Centre for Information Technology and Development, Mallam Isah Garba, has called on the operatives of the National  Drugs  Law Enforcement Agency to beef up security at the nation’s airports in order to check activities of drug pushers.

Addressing newsmen in Kano on Monday, Garba said  Zainab Aliyu’s experience had shown that the NDLEA had a lot to do in ensuring that drug barons and traffickers were beaten to their game at airports across the country.

He urged the security agency to apprehend and prosecute the real owners of the luggage that put the female student in trouble in Saudi Arabia.

Garba said with the student’s experience, “there will be many more innocent Nigerians in Saudi detention camp.”

He advised the NDLEA to intensify the search and surveillance of passengers’ luggage, as well as the surrounding environment during boarding, so as to ensure that no luggage was tempered with after the real owner had checked in.

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