The Federal Government, FG, has reacted to the execution of a Nigerian woman in Saudi Arabia alongside three others for drug trafficking.
Abike Dabiri-Erewa, Senior Special Assistant to the President on Diaspora, who described the news as pathetic, tragic and sad, added that most victims are not usually guilty as some airlines have been working with drug syndicates to put such drugs in the bags of unsuspecting passengers.
She further disclosed that so far, eight Nigerians have been executed while 20 are on death row in Saudi Arabia. Abike Dabiri-Erewa who reacted to the execution of the Nigerian woman in Saudi Arabia on behalf of the Federal Government (FG), said;
“We know that drug issues in Saudi Arabia attract death penalty, that will be the eighth Nigerian to be executed for drug in Saudi in the last few years and we have about 20 on death row for drug in that country and about 12 that have been sentenced to various jail terms.
“The issue with drug in Saudi is this, there are cases of syndicates who work with airlines who actually put these drugs in the bags of unsuspecting pilgrims.
But we have had cases where truly they did commit the offence; so, we are appealing to the Saudi authorities to make the trial fair, open and ensure that justice is done; even if you are going to die, you die for an offence you have committed.
“I appeal to Nigerians, especially those going to Saudi with stuff; obey the laws of the land; even kola nut is treated as drug; so we continue to appeal to the Saudi authorities to treat some of the cases with some form of leniency.”
PRESS RELEASE – The execution of a Nigerian in Saudi Arabia, pathetic, tragic —-Dabiri-Erewa
Abuja, April 2, 2019: Hon. Abike Dabiri-Erewa, Senior Special Assistant to the President on Foreign Affairs and Diaspora has described the execution of a Nigerian woman by Saudi Arabia government over drug related matters as very pathetic and tragic.
In a statement by her Media aide, Abdur-Rahman Balogun in Abuja, she said the news of the execution of the woman over drug matters in Saudi Arabia was painful despite repeated warnings to Nigerians in that country to be law abiding.
Dabiri-Erewa said that it is regrettable that in spite of the wise counsel for Nigerians travelling to Saudi Arabia by relevant government agencies to obey the country’s laws, some Nigerians would still go and run foul of 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.
She said over 20 Nigerians are currently on death row in Saudi Arabia and many are in prisons serving various jail terms. “Our major concern, however, is whether the trial was fair to the convicts as the trial was not open and some of them were said to be implicated without a defence counsel.
Dabiri –Erewa said that Nigerian government had made some pleas on behalf of some Nigerians with the Saudi Arabia government to temper justice with mercy which 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 crimes and criminality in Saudi Arabia and other countries and be good ambassadors to Nigeria any where they go’’ She added.
Saudi Arabia’s Interior Ministry said four people were executed on Monday for drug trafficking, including one woman, bringing to 53 the number of people put to death 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 the death sentences of 120 people as carrying illicit drugs and some other related offences attract capital punishment in the country.
S.A. Media to Hon. Abike Dabiri-Erewa.