Tears of joy as Zainab, Abubakar return from Saudi Arabia

Two Nigerians, Miss Zainab Aliyu and Ibrahim Abubakar, who were implicated for alleged drug trafficking but freed by Saudi Arabian authorities, returned home.

The duo arrived at the Malam Aminu Kano International Airport aboard the same flight at 10 am, two weeks after regaining freedom after diplomatic intervention by the Federal Government.

Miss Aliyu, a final-year student of the Maitama Sule University, Kano, was overwhelmed with joy as she was received by her father at the airport.

“I thank God; I thank God,” was all she could say. Her father was also speechless. “I thank God,” he told reporters.

In the company of excited family members and friends, Zainab boarded a waiting vehicle and headed for her Kundila residence in  Tarauni Local Government Area of the state.

They were received by neighbours, who anxiously awaited them.

Miss Aliyu and Abubakar were arrested and detained for four months by the Saudi Arabian Anti-drug Trafficking Agency, over alleged drug trafficking, but released after Nigerian and Saudi authorities established their innocence.

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

A Senior Programme Officer at the Centre for Information Technology and Development (CITAD), Malam Isah Garba, has called on operatives of the National Drugs Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) to beef up security at the nation’s airports for real drug pushers to be apprehended and brought to book.

Addressing newsmen in Kano yesterday, Garba said the   issue of Miss Aliyu, who was detained in connection with a luggage containing a banned substance drugs had left much to be desired in terms of apprehending the real owners of the luggage for prosecution.

According to him, the National Drugs Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) must intensify their search and surveillance on passengers’ luggage as well as the surrounding environment during boarding to ensure that no luggage escaped the screening process.

He said the airliners on their part, should ensure adequate protection for passengers luggage under their custody.

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