The release of Zainab Aliyu, a Nigerian student detained by the Saudi Arabia government on drug-related offenses has been trending both in the local and international news sphere since it took place yesterday, April 30.
But what is the story behind her detention?
The ordeal of Zainab Aliyu, a student of Maitama Sule University, Kano, began when she travelled from the Mallam Aminu Kano International Airport, Kano, and was arrested in Saudi Arabia for being in possession of tramadol.
Ms Aliyu was arrested at her hotel in Medina by Saudi police last December, shortly after arriving for the lesser hajj with her family – and remained in detention until Tuesday.
The Saudi authorities had accused her of trafficking 2,000 packs of Tramadol in a bag tagged with her name that had been left at the airport.
An investigation was launched after Ms Aliyu’s father reported the case to the police and it led to the arrest of six officials at Mallam Aminu Kano International Airport.
After the arrest, Zainab’s father, Habib Aliyu, appealed to the Nigerian and Saudi Arabian governments and the international community to intervene in his daughter’s case.
The release of Aliyu is a sequel to President Muhammadu Buhari’s directive to the Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami, to immediately intervene in the case.
Aliyu, according to the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ambassador Mustapha Suleiman, was released to the Nigerian Mission in Saudi Arabia.
An elated Suleiman also said the development was cheering to the Nigerian Government and the family of Aliyu.
He added that investigations by the Nigerian authorities revealed that a drug cartel in Nigeria packaged drugs in her luggage, which led to the arrest, even as he said the drug culprits had been arrested and would be prosecuted.