FG secures release of Nigerian held in Saudi Arabia for ‘drug trafficking’


Ibrahim Abubakar, an indigene of Zamfara incarcerated in Saudi Arabia for drug trafficking, has been released.

Jonah Achema, head of public affairs, National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA), disclosed this in a statement on Wednesday, in Abuja.

Achema said Abubakar was released following proof from a series of investigations the NDLEA presented to the Saudi authorities.

He said the victim, who had been in prison for three years, was arrested upon arrival in Saudi Arabia when his luggage was found to contain 1,497 tablets of Tramadol.

He added that Abubakar had been standing trial since 2017 in Saudi Arabia where punishment for drug trafficking is execution.

“On December 15, 2017, a letter of complaint was written by Malam Gwani Siddiq from Zamfara State urging the NDLEA to intervene on the arrest of Abubakar by the Saudi anti-narcotic officials,” Achema said.

“The Agency swung into investigation which revealed that Abubakar traveled to Saudi on March 10, 2017 through Malam Aminu Kano International Airport and was arrested by the Saudi anti-narcotic officials at Medina Airport for importing 1,497 tablets of Tramadol.

“The substance was allegedly concealed in a bag and tagged to his passport by his travel agent named Mahmood Sani and two other handlers at the airport, one Mrs Celina Yaycock, and Mr Anthony Johnson.”

Achema said following the investigations, a delegation from Nigeria in Diaspora Commission (NIDCOM) and the Zamfara government arrived in Jeddah with documentary evidence provided by the agency for the trial slated for February 18.

“The documentary evidence included a correspondence from the NDLEA stating that it had arrested and charged three persons who planted the Tramadol tablets on the defendant and a certified copy of the two-count charge sheet from the Federal High Court Kano,” he said.

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“These documents were provided to the Saudi Court after which it ruled in favour of Ibrahim and discharged him.”

Achema said the suspects who planted the drugs have since been charged to a federal high court in Kano.

Earlier, the federal government also secured the release of Ibrahim Ibrahim who fell victim to a drug-trafficking syndicate and was placed on death row in the same country.

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