￼Summons country’s envoy over killing
The Federal government has disclosed the name of the Nigeria woman who was killed on Monday in Saudi Arabia for alleged drug trafficking. She was Mrs Kudirat Adesola Afolabi.
The Federal government also expressed displeasure over her execution. The Federal government made its position known by summoning the Saudi Arabia Ambassador to Nigeria, Adnan Bostaji, through the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Abuja.
The summon was a sequel to public outcry over the execution which brought to a total number of 53, persons executed so far for such offences in Saudi Arabia since the beginning of 2019.
Mrs Afolabi, a widow and mother of two, was executed alongside two Pakistan nationals, both males, and a Yemeni man for drug trafficking.
Speaking after the closed-door meeting, the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ambassador Mustapha Suleiman, confirmed that the meeting was in connection with the execution of the Nigerian lady.
Suleiman said the meeting was to discuss the issue and to convey the government’s position and reservations about what happened.
“That is essentially why we had this meeting. The position is that we are dissatisfied; we are not happy with what happened because we expected some more communication before we got to this level. And that is exactly what we conveyed to the Saudi authorities through the ambassador,” Suleiman said.
Suleiman added that going forward, the government would ensure that whenever a Nigerian citizen is arrested or on trial, the Nigerian Mission in Saudi Arabia will be informed to follow up on the case.
The Nigerian Mission, Suleiman also said, will ensure that Nigerian citizens in Saudi Arabia get the best of a fair trial and make sure that the judicial and diplomatic processes involved are also established.
Responding, Bostaji said the Saudi government found the Nigerian lady guilty and the execution was in compliance with its laws.
He said on the issue of informing the Nigerian government of such cases that the Saudi Arabia government already had direct communication with the Nigerian Embassy in Riyadh and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
“And if they asked about any of the Nigerian citizens, they will give them all the information about that. We will follow up on that with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs here,” Bostaji said.
Bostaji further said the important thing was for both countries to work together directly to deepen the relations between both countries.
The Federal government, therefore, condemned in the strongest terms, the execution of Afolabi in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.
The Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ambassador Mustapha Suleiman, issued the condemnation on behalf of the government in a statement made available to our correspondent in Abuja.
Suleiman said although the government respects the sovereignty of other countries and detests the violation of laws of any country. However, it does not condone such inhumane treatment being meted on a Nigerian.
“While Nigeria respects the sovereignty of states, and abhors the violation of domestic laws of any country, the government, however, does not condone such inhumane treatment being meted on a Nigerian national.
“It also frowns at the Saudi authorities for not informing the Nigerian Mission in Saudi Arabia of the arrest and prosecution of the deceased Nigerian, only to invite the mission to take the last will of the deceased prior to her execution on April 1, 2019.
“The Ministry of Foreign Affairs, therefore, wishes to assure Nigerians that it has engaged the Saudi authorities through their Ambassador in Nigeria, to ensure that the normal diplomatic practice of informing missions of the arrests of our nationals is adhered to, and that fair hearing is given to other Nigerians undergoing judicial processes in Saudi Arabia,” Suleiman said.