Sunday, September 19, 2021

Saraki commends Buhari over diplomatic effort at releasing Zainab, Abubakar from Saudi prison

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Ibrahim Ramalan
Ibrahim Ramalan is a graduate of Mass Communications from the Ahmadu Bello University (ABU) Zaria. With nearly a decade-long, active journalism practice, Mr Ramalan has been able to rise from a cub reporter to the exalted position of an editor; first as Arts Editor with the Blueprint Newspapers before resigning in 2019; second and presently as an Associate Editor of the Daily Nigerian online newspaper. He can be reached via [email protected], or, or @McRamalan on Twitter.
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Senate President Bukola Saraki has commended the diplomatic effort of President Muhammadu Buhari in seeing to the release of Zainab Aliyu and Ibrahim Abubakar from Saudi Arabia prisons over alleged drug trafficking.


Mr Saraki, who made the commendation in his remark following a Point of Order raised by Senator Kabiru Gaya over the matter at plenary on Tuesday, said their release was “a great relief to Nigerians in all parts of the country”.

Zainab Aliyu, a student of Maitama Sule University, Kano, and Ibrahim Abubakar, were arrested in Saudi Arabia for alleged drug trafficking in Dec. 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.

READ ALSO: Zainab Aliyu performs ‘makeup’ Umrah as she prepares return to Nigeria

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

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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.

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

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


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