By Alex Enumah in Abuja
The Federal Government on Tuesday secured the release of a Nigerian student, Zainab Ibrahim, from detention in Saudi Arabia.
The release was sequel to a directive by President Muhammadu Buhari to the Attorney General of the Federation to ensure the release of Zainab and another Nigerian, Ibrahim Abubakar, upon discovery that they were innocent of the offences for which they were detained by the Saudi authorities.
Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ambassador Mustapha Suleiman, briefing newsmen in Abuja, Tuesday afternoon said but for the late time Nigerian officials in Saudi Arabia arrived at the detention center where Abubakar was held, he would have been released today.
“Due to the intervention of the federal government of Nigeria, through the ministry of Foreign Affairs, Zainab Ibrahim has been released but the second person, Ibrahim Abubakar, was not released because before the Authorities’ got to his detention centre, it was time for close of work in Saudi Arabia”, Suleiman said.
He added that the authorities in Saudi agreed to release the two Nigerians following the arrest of a six man cartel at the Mallam Aminu Kano Airport, Kano, which specialises in planting drugs in the luggage of unsuspecting passengers.
Sulaiman said the Saudi authorities were convinced when they received the record of activities of the cartel members transmitted to them by the Nigerian government.