President Buhari has directed the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami, to immediately intervene in the case of Zainab Aliyu, the student detained by the Saudi Arabia authorities over drug-related charges.
The Senior Special Assistant to the President on Foreign Affairs and Diaspora, Abike Dabiri-Erewa, disclosed that Buhari gave the directive two weeks ago when the matter was brought to his attention.
Aliyu, a student of Maitama Sule University, Kano, was arrested by Saudi authorities on December 26, 2018, for allegedly traveling with luggage containing unlawful substance believed to be tramadol.
Zainab had traveled through the Mallam Aminu Kano International Airport (MAKIA) for lesser Hajj with her mother, Maryam, and sister, Hajara.
A petition filed by her family later led the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) to uncover a cartel at MAKIA which specialized in planting illicit drugs in travelers’ luggage.
The arrest of seven members of the cartel led to the discovery that the tramadol-bearing luggage was planted on Aliyu without her knowledge.
“Based on the investigation carried out, it has been revealed that the said Zainab Habibu Aliyu was not the owner of the second luggage tagged in her name,” an NDLEA report read.