President Muhammadu Buhari has directed the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami, to immediately intervene in the case of Zainab Aliyu, being held Saudi Arabia custody over drug-related charges. Aliyu, a student of Maitama Sule University, Kano, was arrested by Saudi authorities on December 26, 2018, for allegedly traveling with
President Muhammadu Buhari has directed the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami, to immediately intervene in the case of Zainab Aliyu, being held Saudi Arabia custody over drug-related charges.
Aliyu, a student of Maitama Sule University, Kano, was arrested by Saudi authorities on December 26, 2018, for allegedly traveling with luggage containing unlawful substance believed to be tramadol.
Zainab had traveled through the Mallam Aminu Kano International Airport (MAKIA) for lesser Hajj with her mother, Maryam, and sister, Hajara.
A petition filed by Aliyu’s family later led the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) to uncover a cartel at MAKIA which specialized in planting illicit drugs in travelers’ luggage.
The arrest of seven members of the cartel led to the discovery that the tramadol-bearing luggage was planted on Aliyu without her knowledge.
“Based on the investigation carried out, it has been revealed that the said Zainab Habibu Aliyu was not the owner of the second luggage tagged in her name,” an NDLEA report read.
The Senior Special Assistant to the President on Foreign Affairs and Diaspora, Abike Dabiri-Erewa, disclosed that Buhari gave the directive two weeks ago when the matter was brought to his attention.
In a statement Abdur-Rahman Balogun, media aide to Dabiri-Erewa, quoted the presidential aide as saying: “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 assured that progress was being made in Zainab’s case along with two others in similar circumstances in Saudi Arabia.
Dabiri Erewa said that Zainab, though detained, had not been put on trial by the Saudi Arabia government. And with the hard evidence that those who implicated her had been arrested, a strong legal case was being made to the Saudi authorities
Mr. Habib Aliyu, the father of the alleged drug courier, Zainab Aliyu, had appealed to the Federal government, the Saudi authorities and the international community as well as well-meaning individuals to intervene in her daughter’s case and save the ‘innocent’ lady from being executed wrongly.
Aliyu, who is not happy that his daughter is cooling off in a Saudi Prison despite the recent discovery that she was framed up by some drug cartel, 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.