Alleged drug trafficking: FG secures release of Zainab Aliyu from Saudi detention

Zainab Aliyu with officials of the Nigerian Consulate in Jeddah, shortly after her release from detention

Personal Assistant to the President on New Media, Bashir Ahmad, has said that the Federal Government has secured the release of a Nigerian student, Zainab Habibu, who was detained in Saudi on suspicion of drug trafficking.

Zainab Aliyu

Zainab, a student of Maitama Sule University, Kano, was arrested after a banned drug, Tramadol, was found in her bag. She claimed it was planted in her luggage by unknown persons.

The student had travelled from Mallam Aminu Kano International Airport in company with her mother, Mrs. Maryam Aliyu, and sister, Hajara Aliyu, but she was arrested over allegations that a bag bearing her name tag contained the unlawful substance.

Zainab, who was accused of entering Saudi Arabia with an illegal dosage of Tramadol, was later discovered to be a victim of a cartel that specialised in keeping hard drugs in travellers’ bags, some of whom were already in the custody of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency.

The Senior Special Assistant to the President on Diaspora Affairs, Abike Dabiri-Erewa, on Monday said Buhari had directed the Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Mr Abubakar Malami, to immediately intervene in her case.

Taking to his verified Twitter handle on Tuesday @BashirAhmaad, the President’s aide had tweeted Zainab’s freedom:

The Federal Government has secured the release of Zainab Habibu Aliyu who was arrested in Saudi Arabia for alleged drug trafficking. Details soon from Ministry of Foreign Affairs. #FreeZainab

— Bashir Ahmad (@BashirAhmaad) April 30, 2019

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