How Kano airport officials smuggle drugs in luggages of innocent Saudi-bound passengers - Dove Bulletin - Online News Bulletin

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Wednesday, 10 April 2019

How Kano airport officials smuggle drugs in luggages of innocent Saudi-bound passengers

There are 23 Nigerians in death row in Saudi Arabia and some may be innocent.

The “late” response of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to a memo from the Nigerian Consul-General, Amb. M. S. Yunusa is believed to have contributed to the execution of a Nigerian woman, Kudirat Adeshola Afolabi about two weeks ago.

According to a report by The Nation, the Consul-General wrote twice to the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Chief Geoffrey Onyeama, on December 3, 2018, and February 6, 2019, raising the alarm over the plight of Nigerians in Saudi Arabia.

He said the nation should endeavour to use its diplomatic bond with Saudi Arabia to seek pardon for all our compatriots condemned to death and for those serving various jail terms.

But more worrisome to the Consul-General is what he believe is the security lapse at the Mallam Aminu Kano International Airport (MAKIA), Kano, which is being used for massive drug trafficking.

The envoy admitted that there is a drug syndicate at the airport.

He alleged that the syndicate in cahoots with greedy airline officials at MAKIA were checking in extra bags containing prohibited drugs.

He said members of the syndicate had been using particulars of innocent passengers and baggage tags to smuggle drugs leading to the arrest of Nigerians who had no links with drug trafficking.

One of the memos said: “Furthermore, it is with humility that I bring to the Honourable Minister‘s knowledge that, sadly, there are a number of Nigerians arrested for alleged drug-related offence who are currently in detention at Dhahban Prison (Male Section) and Madina Prison (Male & Female Sections). Mission was unable to gain Consular access to them as the host authorities have flatly refused to grant permission for such despite several requests to that effect.

“Following the outcome of investigations carried out by both the NDLEA and the Nigeria Police (Kano State Command) the Honourable Minister may wish to note that:

There exists a criminal syndicate collaborating with greedy officials of some airlines at MAKIA, notably Ethiopian and Egyptian Airlines, who connive to check in drug-laden bags, using passenger’s particulars without their consent or knowledge;

“Nigerian victims of the activities of these criminal gangs were arrested and detained in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia for drug trafficking offences they did not commit;

“The outcome of investigations by the Nigeria Police and NDLEA absolved these victims of complicity in the crime of peddling drugs into the Kingdom. The investigations further established beyond reasonable doubts that the victims were unaware of the drug-laden baggage that were checked in bearing their particulars by unknown persons at MAKIA, Kano;

“All the suspected culprits had been apprehended and a case of criminal conspiracy, breach of trust and drug trafficking has been established against them, hence, they were arraigned at the Federal High Court, Kano;

“There are 24 Nigerians who were condemned to death between 2016 2018 for drug trafficking in contravention of the Kingdom’s Narcotic and Psychotropic Substances Control Law issued under Decree No. M/39 dated 8/7/1428AH;

“There are 12 Nigerian women currently serving various jail terms at Dhahban prison for drug smuggling.

“Meanwhile, the following drug traffickers are serving various jail terms:

Halimat Oyebanjo Oyaya 10yrs
Sherifat Shawni 4 yrs
Limata Ahmad 10yrs
Halimat Isah 5yrs
Olubumi Adejarani Olaniyan 10yrs
Omobolanle Funke 15yrs
Nuratu Bolanle Yusuf 15yrs
Maryam Ibrahim Tanko 7yrs
Rahma Abdulkarim 20yrs
Nuratu Yusuf Abike 20yrs
Bolaji Kehinde 10yrs
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