Zainab Aliyu, the young Nigerian lady, arrested by security personnel in Saudi Arabia last year, for hard drugs, has moved another notch in her life, completing the mandatory one year National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) scheme. A beaming Zainab was showcased by the Chairman and CEO of Nigerians in Diaspora Commission (NIDCOM), Mrs. Abike Dabiri-Erewa.
“Remember Zainab Aliyu, wrongly jailed in Saudi for carrying drugs she had no knowledge of, and rescued with the intervention of @MBuhari? She just completed her NYSC. We wish Zainab the best as she moves on to great success in life,” Abike Dabiri wrote. Zainab, who attended Maitama Sule University, Kano, had gone with her mum and sister to Saudi Arabia for lesser Hajj in December 2018, when she was arrested for carrying tramadol, a prohibited drug in the Islamic Kingdom.
The young lady was arrested by Saudi Arabia authorities on December 26, 2018 after tramadol, a drug prohibited in Saudi Arabia, was found in her bag. Aliyu had travelled alongside her mother and sister to the country for lesser hajj. But on arrival in Medina, she was arrested by security operatives over allegations that the bag bear-ing her name tag contained tramadol.
She was consequently detained leading to an outcry from Nigerians on social media platforms. Aliyu would later be released from prison in April 2019 and returned to Nigeria on May 13. Her arrest had led to the discovery of an alleged drug cartel at the Mallam Aminu Kano International Airport that reportedly transferred her excess luggage weight to bag that contained tramadol. She was among the 2019 Batch ‘B’ Stream 2 corps members that passed out on Thursday in a low-key ceremony as a result of the coronavirus pandemic. The then 22 year-old spent the next 124 days in jail.
She was freed in April 2019, following the intervention of the Muhammadu Buhari government. Her release was secured after an intense diplomatic engagement between the federal government and the Saudi Arabian government. It took so many fruitful efforts by the federal government to establish she was innocent. It took several notes from the government sent to the Saudi Embassy in Abuja and its Consulate in Kano over the matter and all diplomatic channels available were used to ensure the successful release. Shortly after Zainab was released and returned to Nigeria, she began the mandatory one year NYSC exercise and has just passed out with the latest batch.