- Kudirat Afolabi, a Nigerian, was executed in Saudi Arabia for drug-related offences
- There are however reports that no fewer than 23 Nigerians are still on the death row in the kingdom
- A full list of the affected Nigerians who were also reportedly found guilty of drug-related offences, have been released
There was outrage in Nigeria on Monday, April 1, when the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia executed a Nigerian, Kudirat Afolabi, over alleged drug-related offences.
The outrage was fueled by a report claiming the federal government ignored the call for Ms Afolabi's intervention.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs has, however, refuted the report in a statement by its spokesperson, Sarah Sanda, on Friday, April 12 in Abuja, describing it as a complete falsehood.
Sanda said that the attention of the ministry was drawn to what she described as a tendentious, mischievous and libelous article alleging that the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the minister were responsible for the death of Afolabi.
Meanwhile, no fewer than 23 Nigerians are still on the death row in the kingdom, The Nation reports.
The newspaper said it had access to a document listing 23 more Nigerians on the death row in Saudi Arabia.
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According to the document, the Nigerians were found guilty of allegedly contravening the “Narcotic and Psychotropic Substances Control Law, issued under Royal Decree No. M/39 dated 8/7/1428AH and is punishable with death penalty.
The convicted Nigerians are:
1. Adeniyi Adebayo Zikri
2. Tunde Ibrahim
3. Jimoh Idhola Lawal
4. Lolo Babatunde
5. Sulaiman Tunde
6. Idris Adewuumi Adepoju
7. Abdul Raimi Awela Ajibola
8. Yusuf Makeen Ajiboye
9. Adam Idris Abubakar
10. Saka Zakaria
11. Biola Lawal
12. Isa Abubakar Adam
13. Ibrahim Chiroma
14. Hafis Amosu
15. Aliu Muhammad
16. Ms Funmilayo Omoyemi Bishi
17. Ms Mistura Yekini
18. Amina Ajoke Alobi
19. Kuburat Ibrahim
20. Alaja Olufunke Alalaoe Abdulqadir
21. Fawsat Balagun Alabi
22. Aisha Muhammad Amira
23. Adebayo Zakariya.
Meanwhile, Saudi Arabia has also defended its legal system following the controversy that trailed the beheading of Afolabi.
In an interview with The Nation, the ambassador of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Adnan Mahmod Bostaji, on Sunday, April 14, said sentences are only carried out after the evidence has been established.
He described the legal system as transparent, adding that it works on fairness and justice.
He also said about 1.5 million Nigerians live in Saudi Arabia unmolested.
“As at today, we have over 1.5 m Nigerians in Saudi Arabia in virtually all sectors of our economy.
“These 1.5 million Nigerians are legitimately engaged in various services and they are not being molested. You should not use the misconduct of a few Nigerians to assume that all is not well between the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and Nigeria," he said.
Bostaji pleaded with the authorities at all Nigerian airports to implement procedures that will prevent drug smuggling.
He said: “The legal system in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is transparent and only works on fairness and justice.
“Death sentences are only carried out after all evidence has been established, and this is exactly what was done in the case of the recently executed Nigerian woman.
“In fact, in her recent statement, the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Foreign Affairs and the Diaspora, Mrs Abike Dabiri-Arewa, condemned what the woman had done.
“I hope the media and social networking channels will restrain themselves from hasty judgments and comments. I believe that we all have interest in doing justice.
“I also want them to note that there is continuous coordination, as well as cooperation, between the officials and the embassies of both countries.
“The two countries have had robust years of bilateral relationship, including cooperation on various international matters of mutual interest.”
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Meanwhile, Legit.ng previously reported that Abike Dabiri who is the chairman of the National Diaspora Commission said that eight Nigerians had been executed by the Saudi Arabian government over drug-related offences.
Dabiri revealed this on Tuesday, April 2 at the State House while also speaking about the execution of Afolabi in the same country for drug trafficking.
Dabiri appealed to the Saudi Arabian authorities to ensure that the Nigerians on death row are given fair hearing.
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