The Nigerian Federal Government have secured the release of Zainab Aliyu, a Nigerian previously detained in Saudi Arabia for alleged drug trafficking after the government was able to establish her innocence.
Zainab and another Nigerian, Ibrahim Abubakar were arrested on December 26, 2018 after Tramadol, a banned drug was found in her bag on arrival.
The 22-year-old, her mother and sister had travelled to Saudi Arabia for lesser hajj as well, through the Mallam Aminu Kano International Airport.
On arrival in Medina, the Maitama Sule University student was arrested by Saudi Police after tramadol was found in a luggage bearing her name.
Her arrest led the Nigerian government to open up an investigation which eventually exposed an alleged drug cartel at the Mallam Aminu Kano International Airport.
The 7-man syndicate which specialised in planting banned drugs in travellers’ luggage to export to Saudi Arabia and other foreign countries reportedly transferred her excess luggage weight to the bag that contained Tramadol.
These revelations led to several Nigerians calling for her release and President Buhari directing the Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami, to swiftly intervene and secure her immediate release.
Following that directive, the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Diaspora Affairs Abike Dabiri-Erewa, assured Nigerians she will be back along with 2 others in the same situation.
The good news finally came this afternoon when Bashir Ahmed, the personal assistant to President Muhammadu Buhari on New media, confirmed her release on his Twitter page.
With pictures of Zainab Aliyu and officials of the Nigerian Consulate in Jeddah, circulating shortly after her release from prison.