A Federal High Court, sitting in Kano State, has granted bail to the six suspects arraigned before it for exporting tramadol to Saudi Arabia in luggage using the name tag of Zainab Aliyu, a 22-year-old student of Maitama Sule University, Kano, DAILY NIGERIAN learnt.
Miss Aliyu had been languishing in Saudi jail after her arrest on December 26, in connection with the alleged drug trafficking.
Miss Aliyu’s travails began when she travelled to Saudi Arabia for a lesser hajj alongside her mother and sister through Mallam Aminu Kano International Airport, MAKIA on December 24, 2018.
On arrival in Madina, Miss Aliyu was arrested by the Saudi authorities over the possession of an unclaimed bag.
However, Miss Aliyu’s arrest in Saudi Arabia led to the discovery of a drug cartel at the Kano airport that used the excess of her luggage weight to add another bag that contained tramadol in her name.
Subsequently, a 7-man syndicate, who were staff members of the MAKIA were arrested by the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency, NDLEA, following a petition filed by Miss Aliyu’s father, Habibu Aliyu, a director at the Federal Radio Corporation of Nigeria, FRCN.
It was gathered that the suspects, who were on duty on that fateful day, specialized in planting hard drugs using the excess of weight of travellers’ luggage to add their own bags to export the substances to Saudi Arabia and other foreign countries.
Subsequently, six of the suspects were arraigned at the Federal High Court, sitting at court road, Kano State, while the other one was at large.
The accused, namely: Idris Umar Shehu (alias Umar Sanda), Sanni Suleiman, Nuhu Adamu, Rhoda Adetunji, Udosen Itoro Henry and Sanni Hamisu were arraigned on three-count charges.
However, in a twist of event, the suspects were all granted bail, while the innocent lady is still languishing in a Saudi jail.
The suspects were first arraigned before Justice Lewis Alagoa of the Federal High Court, Kano, and were later released on bail.
After the bail, DAILY NIGERIAN gathered from a reliable security source that one of the accused, Umar Shehu (alias Umar Sanda), is currently in Saudi Arabia observing Lesser Hajj.
Speaking to journalists in Kano on Monday, Miss Aliyu’s father lamented why all the accused persons were granted bail by the court.
He said: “Ironically, while my daughter, who is innocent is still being detained in Saudi Arabia, these suspects, who caused her this ordeal and even confessed to perpetrating the offence, are now free.
“One of the suspects, a female, even held my legs in regret and asked me to forgive her for what she did to me and caused my daughter at the airport.
“Even in the court, the accused persons pleaded guilty of the offences but the court had granted bail to them,” he said.
Mr Aliyu added that he is in contact with his daughter, but is confused on why the Saudi authorities refused to release her, even as all investigations and evidences proved her innocent.
He, however, expressed displeasure over the failure to see officials of the Saudi consulate in Kano, saying, “whenever I go there, I could only speak to them via intercom.”
He added that “all this while, the officials of Saudi consulate here in Kano are always feigning ignorance of what has happened to my daughter,”
Mr Aliyu also commended the Special Assistant to the President on Diaspora, Abike Dabiri for her effort to see his daughter regained freedom.
He also expressed delight and gratitude to President Muhammadu Buhari’s effort to intervene into the matter by directing the Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami, to act accordingly to secure the release of Miss Habibu.