Saudi Arabia releases Ibrahim Abubakar, the 80-year old Nigerian who was arrested with Zainab Aliyu


The Saudi Arabian government has released Ibrahim Abubakar, the Nigerian arrested alongside Zainab Aliyu, to the Nigerian Consulate in Jeddah. 

Abubakar, who was arrested for the same offence as Zainab, was released to Garba Satomi Grema, the acting Consul-General, Nigerian Consulate, on Thursday in line with the previous promise of Saudi Arabia. 

On Tuesday, the Nigerian government secured the release of Zainab, the student of Maitama Sule University, Kano, who was arrested and had been in detention since December when a banned drug, tramadol, was found in her bag on arrival in Saudi Arabia.

Her continued detention sparked widespread sympathy all over the country, on the back of claims that she was innocent and only fell victim to a drug cartel at the Mallam Aminu Kano International Airport, Kano, that specialises in keeping hard drugs in travellers’ bags. 

Ambassador Mustapha Suleiman, the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, confirmed that the Nigerian government had succeeded in establishing Zainab’s innocence.   It also confirmed that Abubakar, the second Nigerian involved in the case, would be released to the Nigerian Mission in Saudi Arabia on Wednesday.

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