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



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.

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

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.

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.”

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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