Zainab, Abubakar’s return from Saudi Arabia `a great relief to Nigerians’ —Senate

The Senate said on Tuesday that Nigerians felt great relief when Zainab Aliyu and Mr Ibrahim Abubakar returned from Saudi Arabia where she was detained for four months by the country’s authorities.

The Senate said this following a Point of Order raised by Senator Kabiru Gaya at plenary on Tuesday.

Zainab Aliyu, a student of Maitama Sule University, Kano, and Ibrahim Abubakar, were arrested in Saudi Arabia for alleged drug trafficking. Aliyu was arrested in December 2018 when she was arrested at the Prince Mohammed Bin Abdulaziz International Airport in Medina because Tramadol, a banned drug was allegedly found in her bag.

Zainab, however, claimed it was planted in her luggage by unknown persons.

Similarly, Abubakar was arrested in that country for an alleged drug-related offence.

While referring to Order 43 of the Senate Standing Rule, Gaya said he deemed it necessary to thank President Muhammadu Buhari, the Senate, and all who contributed to their release.

He said, “I want to appreciate the Senate for supporting us during the motion I raised for the release of Zainab Aliyu and Ibrahim Abubakar.

“Zainab and Ibrahim, a 75-year old Imam in Kano have returned from Saudi Arabia and joined their families.

“I thank President Buhari, Nigerians on social media, and all those that worked to ensure their release.”

In his remarks, the President of the Senate, Dr Bukola Saraki, said their release was “a great relief to Nigerians in all parts of the country”.

News Agency of Nigeria reports that the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Mustapha Sulaiman, who confirmed the release of the two, said that their release was the result of intense diplomatic engagements between the Nigerian government and that of Saudi Arabia.

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