Nigerian woman executed by Saudi authority for drug offences

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A Nigerian woman has been executed by the Saudi Arabian government after she was convicted of drug trafficking by the ultra-conservative state.

Saudi’s interior ministry disclosed that the woman was executed on Monday, April 1, 2019 alongside two Pakistani men and one Yemeni man.

Their executions in Mecca bring the total number of people killed this year to 53, according to official data released by the official Saudi Press Agency (SPA).

Saudi operates a very strict form of Islamic law and regularly dishes out death sentences for crimes such as homicide, rape, and armed robbery, facing several backlash from human rights organisations.

Monday’s executions bring to 53, the number of people put to death this year in the country.

Speaking with State House Correspondents on Tuesday, the aide to President Muhammadu Buhari on Diaspora matters, Abike Dabiri-Erewa, said the executed woman is the eighth Nigerian to be executed for drugs related offences in the last three years in the oil-rich Kingdom.

She also said 20 others are also in jail with death sentences hanging on their necks.

Mrs Dabiri-Erewa said 12 Nigerians are also in various Saudi Arabia jails serving different jail terms.

The aide, who said some of those convicted might be innocent.

She said the government found out that some airlines work with drug syndicates ”by putting banned substances in the luggage of some innocent Nigerians, especially 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.

“So, 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.

“As 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.”

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