Out of 15 Nigerians who were arrested in Saudi Arabia, one was hurriedly killed which made the 14 more who have been moved to Medina cry out to the Presidency to cry out for help! One Yusuf Yakubu Ajiboye from Kwara State who was arrested was killed by the hangman in Saudi Arabia, sending cold shivers down the spine of the remaining 14.
“We know they are preparing to kill us but before we die, we are pleading with the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria to look into the charges preferred against us and see if indeed, we have been given fair hearing for the offences they claim we committed, and whether the Saudi authorities have treated us well under the law,” one of the suspects said in a leaked document made available to Saturday Vanguard from Riyadh.
“They claim that we peddled drugs and committed other drug-related offences, which according to them carry death penalty but we want Nigeria to intervene and give us another chance to live, Our government should act fast to save our lives from the hangman’s noose because delay is dangerous in this case” The Nigerians who were arrested in relation to drug trafficking cried out!
The Nigerian Government confirmed yesterday, that it was aware of the detained Nigerians in Saudi Arabia in connection with drug-related offences and had already waded into the matter.
The Minister of Foreign Affairs, Geoffrey Onyeama, said necessary steps were being taken to engage with the Saudi authorities on the fate of the detained Nigerian drug suspects.
‘’The Minister of Foreign Affairs has directed the Nigerian Mission in Riyadh to look into the detained suspects’ case urgently,” the Spokesman for the Ministry, Dr. Tope Adeleye Elias-Fatile, said in response to Saturday Vanguard’s enquiry on the matter.
“The Nigerian Government will continue to engage the Saudi authorities in negotiations so that they will not be executed,” the Foreign Ministry assured.
It will be recalled that Legal Defence and Assistance Project (LEDAP), a human rights organization, had raised the alarm that no fewer than 300 Nigerians were on death row in prisons across Asian countries.
During the World Day against the Use of the Death Penalty last week, LEPAD once again drew the country’s attention to the rising number of Nigerians awaiting execution in different parts of the world.
Within this period, the number of offenders has doubled as more than 600 Nigerians in South- East Asia countries are awaiting the hangman, most of them on drug-related offences.
The revelations highlight the increasing desperation of some Nigerians in the narcotic trade. More Nigerians are pouring across the borders with hard drugs in spite of the sophistication in technology as well as the stiff punishment mapped out to curb the illegal business.
The boom in the illegal trade perhaps speaks to the fact that the country’s law enforcement agencies still have much work on their hands. Malaysia, Thailand and Indonesia are evidently among the active drug routes, judging by the number of traffickers caught regularly. Incidentally, these are countries where it is public knowledge that trafficking in hard drug carries the mandatory death sentence.
Indeed, many convicted drug traffickers had been executed in Asia, from Singapore to Vietnam. Some 120 Nigerians were reportedly on death row in Chinese prisons, due mainly to peddling in narcotics.