The government of Saudi Arabia has made it clear that Nigeria cannot be exempted on the application of law against drug trafficking, which prescribes death penalty for the accused after all the evidences have been proved.
The Embassy of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia in Nigeria was reacting to a statement issued by the Senior Special Assistant to President Muhammadu Buhari on foreign affairs and Diaspora, Abike Dabiri-Erewa, regarding the execution of a Nigerian woman.
The woman, Mrs Kudirat Adesola Afolabi, a widow and mother of two, was executed on April 1 after being convicted of drug related offence in the Holy land.
The Embassy of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia in Nigeria, headed by Ambassador Bin Mahmoud Adnan Bostaji said in the statement: “the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia does not neglect the enforcement of penalty in terms of matters of drug trafficking and is determined to apply the law on any person against whom evidence is established in order to combat drug trafficking and protect its citizens from this menace.”
“The ministry of the foreign affairs of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is always in consultation with foreign embassies and Consulates in the Kingdom, of which are Nigerian embassy in Riyadh and Consulate General in Jeddah, and it provides them with all facilitations and information and allows their staff to visit their nationals that are detained vis-à-vis a variety of charges as are related to the different stages of their detention and prosecution, and this is allowed every time of their request through normal channels.”
The Kingdom reminded Nigeria that it had continued to maintain a legal process whereby penalty for drug trafficking has always been death sentence “and such is applied on all persons convicted without any exceptions, as long as the evidence is established against them, and this is conveyed to every person prior to his trip to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.”
It made it clear that death sentence is carried out on the soil of the Kingdom after all proofs and legal evidences have been exhausted against the detained person have been proven beyond reasonable doubt.
The statement said that the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia’s judicial system is established on objectivity and is dependent, in terms of its rules and regulations, on the Islamic law, which has always restored rights to their owners and done justice to the victims, stressing that all convicted persons on whom the death penalty has been carried out have gone through trials, characterized by legal guarantee of justice to their case.
“All accused persons subjected to the legal process in the Saudi courts of law are allowed access to lawyers to litigate on their behalf, and the Kingdom avails itself the responsibility to provide lawyers for any persons that have no financial ability to do so.”
The Kingdom stressed that in the case of the woman that was executed and for which Abike Dabiri attacked the Kingdom, all legal and judicial procedures were followed.