President Muhammadu Buhari has instructed the Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Barr. Abubakar Malami, to immediately intervene in the case of a student, Zainab Aliyu, detained for alleged drug trafficking by the Saudi authorities.
The Senior Special Assistant to the President on Diaspora Affairs, Abike Dabiri-Erewa, in a statement in Abuja on Monday by her media aide, Abdur-Rahman Balogun said that the President gave the directive two weeks ago when the matter was brought to his attention.
Zainab, who just completed her study at Maitama Sule University, Kano, was arrested after a banned drug, tramadol, was found in bag with her passport tag number.
Although she claimed it was planted in her luggage by unknown persons.
The student had travelled from Malam Aminu Kano International Airport in company with her mother, Hajia Maryam Aliyu, and sister, Hajara Aliyu, but she was arrested over allegations that a bag bearing her name tag contained the unlawful substance.
She was arrested at her hotel days after arrival in Saudi Arabia
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 inserting hard drugs in travellers’ bags, some of whom were already in the custody of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency.
The Presidential Aide in the statement explained that her office has been working with the AGF and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to rescue the beleaguered student.
She said that Zainab has not been put on trial, adding that with the arrest of those who implicated her, a strong legal case was being made to the Saudi authorities.
The father of the alleged drug courier, Habib Aliyu, had appealed to the Federal Government, the Saudi authorities and the international community as well as well-meaning individuals to intervene in her daughter’s case and save her from being executed unjustly.
Habibu had expressed outrage over the continued detention of his daughter despite the discovery that she was framed by some drug syndicate.