The Senior Special Assistant to the President on Foreign Affairs and Diaspora, Mrs Abike Dabiri-Erewa, said execution of a Nigerian woman by Saudi Arabia Government over drug-related matters was pathetic and tragic.
Dabiri-Erewa said in a statement by her Media aide, AbdulRahman Balogun, on Tuesday in Abuja, that the news of the tragedy was painful.
According to her, it is regrettable that in spite of wise counsel for Nigerians travelling to Saudi Arabia by relevant government agencies to obey the country’s laws, some Nigerians still go and foul the law.
“This particular execution is very worrisome, especially when over eight Nigerians have been killed in the past few years over the same issue in Saudi Arabia,” she said.
The president’s aide disclosed that no fewer than 20 Nigerians were currently on death row in Saudi Arabia and that many were in prisons serving various jail terms.
“Our major concern, however, is whether the trial was fair to the convicts as it was not open and some of them were said to be implicated without a defence counsel.”
Dabiri-Erewa said that Nigerian government had made pleas on behalf of some Nigerians, to the Saudi Arabia government, to temper justice with mercy, but that it had not yielded positive results.
“We are not saying our citizens in Saudi Arabia should be committing crimes, but we want Saudi Arabia to temper justice with mercy especially on offences that carry capital punishment.
“We are appealing again to our citizens to avoid crime and criminality in Saudi Arabia and other countries and be good ambassadors to Nigeria anywhere they go,’’ she said.
Saudi Arabia’s Interior Ministry had said that four persons, including one woman, were executed on Monday for drug trafficking, bringing to 53 the number of persons put to death for offences with capital punishment this year.
“Two Pakistani men, a Yemeni man and a Nigerian woman were executed in the holy city of Makkah”, the ministry said in a statement.
In 2018, Saudi Arabia carried out death sentences on 120 persons for dealing in illicit drugs and some other related offences.