President Muhammadu Buhari has directed the Attorney-General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami, to ensure the safe return of Zainab Aliyu, a student who was wrongly arrested for drugs trafficking in Saudi Arabia.
Aliyu, a student of Maitama Sule University, Kano, was arrested by Saudi authorities on December 26, 2018 for allegedly travelling with a luggage containing unlawful substance believed to be tramadol.
Zainab had travelled through the Mallam Aminu Kano International Airport (MAKIA) for Lesser Hajj with her mother, Maryam, and sister, Hajara.
A petition filed by Aliyu’s family later led the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) to uncover a cartel at MAKIA which specialised in planting illicit drugs in travellers’ luggage.
The arrest of seven members of the cartel led to the discovery that the tramadol-bearing luggage was planted on Aliyu without her knowledge.
“Based on the investigation carried out, it has been revealed that the said Zainab Habibu Aliyu is not the owner of the second luggage tagged in her name,” an NDLEA report read.
With Nigerians taking to social media to demand Aliyu’s release, the Senior Special Assistant to President Buhari on Foreign Affairs and Diaspora, Mrs Abike Dabiri-Erewa, disclosed on Monday, April 29, 2019 that the government is already working on her release, alongside that of two other people with a similar situation.
“@MBuhari has directed AGF to take necessary action. We are making good progress. She will be back, along with 2 others in same situation,” she responded to a Twitter user.