The federal government has described as pathetic, tragic and sad the news of the execution of a Nigerian woman in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia on Monday over drug-related offences.
Saudi Arabia’s Interior Ministry said in a statement that two Pakistani men, a Yemeni man and a Nigerian woman were executed on Monday for drug trafficking, bringing to 53 the number of people put to death this year in the country.
Speaking to State House correspondents on Tuesday, Senior Special Assistant to the President on Diaspora Ms Abike Dabiri-Erewa said the woman was the eighth Nigerian executed in Saudi Arabia for drug-related offences in the last three years.
She said there are 20 more Nigerians on death row in Saudi Arabia for the same offence while 12 others have been sentenced for various jail terms.
She said it has been established that there are cases of airlines working hand-in-hand with drug syndicates to put those drugs in the bags of unsuspecting pilgrims.
“So, we have had cases where truly they didn’t commit the offence. We have appealed to the Saudi Authorities to make the trials fair, open and ensure that justice is done. Even if you are going to die, you will know that you die for an offence you committed.
“While we appeal to Nigerians going to Saudi Arabia, we know it is tough, obey the laws of the land. Even kolanut is treated as a drug. So, we will continue to appeal to the Saudi Authorities to treat some of the cases with some form of leniency. Like I said, we have 20 of them in Saudi, this is the eighth to be executed and we are hopeful that maybe we will be able to save the others.
“So, it is pathetic, it is tragic but we will continue to appeal to Nigerians to obey the laws of the land where you are. However, we expect the trial to be fair, open and ensure that justice truly is done because somebody is sentenced to death,” she said.