Some eighteen (18) Nigerians have been outrightly banned from stepping their feet into Saudi Arabia, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs has disclosed.
While the Foreign Affairs Ministry did not reveal the identity of the Nigerians, it said they are part of the Air Peace passengers denied entry in Saudi Arabia on Monday, 13th November, 2023.
Recall that Saudi Immigration authorities cancelled the visas of 177 Air Peace passengers who landed at the King Abdulaziz International Airport – Haü Terminal Jeddah, Saudi Arabia on Monday.
Eighty seven (87) of the 264 passengers on the flight were cleared by immigration and allowed entry into Jeddah.
According to a statement by Francisca K. Omayuli (Mrs), Spokesperson of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the 18 Nigerians were outrightly banned from Saudi Arabia for various offences committed in the past.
“Air Peace Flight No. P4-752 airlifted two hundred and sixty four (264) passengers from the Murtala Mohammed International Airport in Lagos and the Aminu Kano International Airport and landed at the King Abdulaziz International Airport – Haü Terminal Jeddah, Saudi Arabia on Monday, 13th November, 2023.
“It was on arrival at the Haü Terminal that the Saudi Immigration authorities informed the passengers that their visas had been cancelled. Conseqently, one hundred and seventy seven (177) passengers were made to return on the same flight back to Nigeria. While eighty seven (87) passengers were cleared by immigration and allowed entry into Jeddah.
“The Saudi authorities are yet to give reasons for the cancellation of the visas, except for eighteen (18) of the passengers who were outrightly banned from Saudi Arabia for various offences committed in the past.
“Notwithstanding the fact that it is the prerogative of a sovereign nation to determine who is permitted entry into its territory, Nigeria and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia are traditional and strategic partners, who are willing to guard against a reoccurrence of this unfortunate incident.
“In this regard, investigation is ongoing in both Nigeria and Saudi Arabia. The affected passengers are therefore, implored to keep calm, while the matter is being resolved,” the statement by Omayuli reads.