The Federal Government yesterday condemned Monday’s execution of a Nigerian woman by Saudi Arabia for alleged drug-related offences, describing the development as tragic and pathetic.
Specifically, the Saudi Interior Ministry claimed that two Pakistani men, a Yemeni man and the Nigerian were executed for drug trafficking, bringing to 53 the number of people so far killed this year.
The Senior Special Assistant (SSA) to the President on Diaspora, Abike Dabiri-Erewa, who communicated government’s displeasure in Abuja, alleged that some airlines collude with drug syndicates to implicate unsuspecting Nigerian passengers.
According to her, they bury the substances in the baggage and luggage of pilgrims and flyers without their knowing.
She told State House Correspondents that the woman was the eighth national to be executed by the Saudi authorities in the last three years.
Dabiri-Erewa said 20 more Nigerians were on death row in the Asian country for similar offences while 12 had been prosecuted and are to serve various jail terms.
Her words: “So we have had cases where truly they didn’t commit the offence. We have appealed to the Saudi authorities to make the trials fair, open and ensure that justice is done.
“Even if you are going to die, you will know that you die for an offence you committed.
“We appeal to Nigerians going to Saudi Arabia to obey the laws of the land. Even Kolanut is treated as a drug. We will continue to appeal to the Saudi authorities to treat some of the cases with some form of leniency.”
The presidential aide described as disgraceful the arrest of five Nigerians for allegedly robbing a bureau de change in Sharjah of Dh2.3 million (about N226 million).
The men were said to have been caught on camera as they went into the bureau and smashed the glass barrier separating customers and staff before stealing and escaping with the sum in multiple currencies.
Listing their names as Chimuanya Emmanuel Ozo; Benjamin Nwachukwu Ajah; Kingsley Ikenna Ngoka; Tochukwu Leonard Alusi and Chile Micah Ndunagu, the former member representing Ikorodu Federal Constituency of Lagos State in the House of Representatives maintained that the suspects were “a disgrace and an embarrassment to the country, themselves and their families.”