For the second time in 10 months, the Federal Government of Nigeria, on the instruction of President Muhammadu Buhari through its agencies, has rescued another Nigerian, Malam Ibrahim Ibrahim, an indigene of Zamfara state, from being executed by Saudi Arabia authorities over drug related matters.
According to a statement signed by the Head of Media and Public Relations, Nigeria in Diaspora Commission (NIDCOM), Abdur-Rahman Balogun, the Chairman of the Commission, Hon. Abike Dabiri-Erewa announced the news to stakeholders on Migration and Diaspora affairs in Abuja.
Dabiri-Erewa said, Ibrahim, a Cleric, was an innocent Nigerian that fell victim of a drug planting/trafficking syndicate when he travelled to Saudi Arabia in March 2017 for lesser hajj.
On getting to the Jeddah airport, he was held, charged, tried in Saudi Arabia and found guilty despite being innocent before a case of retrial was granted.
This re-trial which was facilitated by the multi- government collaboration of NIDCOM, Attorney-General of the Federation and Ministry of Justice, Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Zamfara state government came up on Febuary 18, 2020 with necessary documentary evidence and he was discharged and freed of the allegations of drugs.
Those in the delegation include Barr. Abdullahi Bello, Head, Legal Unit of NIDCOM, the Zamfara State Commissioner of Special Duties, Alhaji Mohammed Saddiq Maiturare, a team of Lawyers facilitated by Zamfara state Governor Bello Muttawale and Attorney General of the Federation.
The documentary evidences provided included a written statement by NDLEA stating that they have arrested and charged three persons who planned the drugs on the defendant and a certified copy of the two counts charge sheet from the Federal High Court Kano.
It will be recalled that in April 2019, NIDCOM in conjunction with the Nigeria Mission in Saudi Arabia secured the release of Zainab Habib Aliyu, another Nigerian wrongly accused of drug trafficking.
Zainab’s release came after President Muhammadu Buhari directed the Attorney General of the Federation to take necessary action on her detention by Saudi Arabia as she was falsely accused of drug peddling in Saudi Arabia in December 2018.
Investigations by the Federal government revealed that the drug was planted in Zainab’s luggage by a cartel that specialises in planting drugs in the bags of unsuspecting travellers.