The government of Saudi Arabia has set process in motion to have 14 Nigerians executed in the coming months; the Nigerian inmates have already been moved to a jail in Medina in preparation for the hangman’s noose.
They were initially 15 in number but Nigerian named Yusuf Yakubu Ajiboye was executed last year as a common criminal. The remaining 14 Nigerian inmates has a ‘Save-Our-Souls’ plea to President Muhammadu Buhari to do all within his powers to save them from being slaughtered like cows.
They are scared for their lives because of the manner in which Yusuf Yakubu Ajiboye from Kwara State was arrested, hurriedly tried and subsequently killed; making them feel such fate await them.
“We know they are preparing to kill us but before we die, we are pleading with the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria to look into the charges preferred against us and see if indeed, we have been given fair hearing for the offences they claim we committed, and whether the Saudi authorities have treated us well under the law,” one of the suspects said in a leaked document being shared on Facebook.
“They claim that we peddled drugs and committed other drug-related offences, which according to them carry death penalty but we want Nigeria to intervene and give us another chance to live,” the suspect pleaded on behalf of the rest being detained in preparation for their execution in the Middle East country.
Among the Nigerians in the Medina Prison awaiting execution are: Lolo Babatunde, Biola Lawal, Hafis Amosu, Jimoh Ishola, Tunde Ibrahim, Abdurimi Aweda, Adam Abubakar, Amode Tunde, Adewumi Adepoju, Saka Riyau, Aliu Muhammed, Abdul Raman, Yekini Yahaya and two other women.
Many other Nigerians arrested for drug-related offences have also been detained at Jedda, Mecca and Riyadh prisons in Saudi Arabia, awaiting execution.
According to the leaked document, there are no fewer than 25 Nigerian drug suspects being detained in several prisons in Saudi Arabia with the ultimate aim of executing them since the offence carried the maximum death penalty in that country.
“Our government should act fast to save our lives from the hangman’s noose because delay is dangerous in this case,” one of the suspects said.
They claimed to have contacted the Nigerian Embassy in Riyadh pleading with them to take action to at least free them from that country’s jail and repatriate them to Abuja to either live or die and be buried on their father land, but regretted that the appeal fell on deaf ears.
The Nigerian Government however confirmed yesterday, that it was aware of the detained Nigerians in Saudi Arabia in connection with drug-related offences and had already taking actions to engage with the Saudi authorities on the fate of the detained Nigerian drug suspects.
Spokesman for the Foreign Affairs Ministry, Dr. Tope Adeleye Elias-Fatile, said the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Geoffrey Onyeama, has directed the Nigerian Mission in Riyadh to look into the detained suspects’ case urgently,”
“The Nigerian Government will continue to engage the Saudi authorities in negotiations so that they will not be executed,” the Foreign Ministry assured.