FG summons Saudi Arabia Ambassador over the case of the executed Nigerian woman in the country
— The Federal Government on Monday summoned Adnan Bostaji, the Saudi Arabia Ambassador to Nigeria, over the case of the execution of a Nigerian woman in Saudi Arabia.
— The Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ambassador Mustapha Suleiman has said that going forward, the government will ensure that whenever a Nigerian citizen is arrested or on trial, the Nigerian Mission in Saudi Arabia will be informed and follow up on the case.
The summon is a result of a public outrage all over the world as regards the execution of over 53 people in 2019 alone for similar offenses.
If we recall, Mrs Afolabi, a widow and mother of two, was executed alongside two Pakistan nationals, both males, and a Yemeni man for drug trafficking.
After the meeting that was held behind closed doors in Monday, the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ambassador Mustapha Suleiman, has come out to confirm that the meeting was related to the execution of the Nigerian lady, Mrs Afolabi.
Ambassador Suleiman also mentioned that the meeting was conducted so as to address the issue, as well as to convey the position of the Nigerian government about what happened.
In his words: “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 get to this level. And that is exactly what we conveyed to the Saudi authorities through the ambassador.”
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He also added that henceforth, the government will ensure that whenever a Nigerian citizen is arrested or on trial, the Nigerian Mission in Saudi Arabia will be informed and follow up on the case, so that the necessary actions and in actions might be taken.
He also said that going forward, the Nigerian government will ensure that Nigerian citizens in Saudi Arabia get a fair trial and make sure that the judicial and diplomatic processes involved are also established.
The Minister went on to condemn the execution on behalf of the government. He said that although the government respects the sovereignty of other countries and detest the violation of laws of any country, the Government does not condone such inhumane treatment being meted on its citizens.
“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 missions 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 1st April, 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,” the Minister affirmed.
Responding to the summon and allegations, Bostaji said Afolabi was executed because she was found guilty, and was executed in compliance to the laws of the Saudi government.
He said on the issue of informing the Nigerian Government of such cases, the Saudi Arabia government already had a 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 about that with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs here,” Bostaji added.
Bostaji further said the important thing was for both countries to work together directly to deepen the relations between both countries.