Saudi Arabia authorities have freed a Nigerian student who was arrested in 2018 for carrying Tramadol, a strong pain killer.
The Nigerian government confirmed Zainab Aliyu’s release after a campaign for her freedom this week.
Zainab Aliyu who was accused of smuggling 2,000 packs of Tramadol was facing execution.
But investigations later found out that she was framed up after a criminal gang planted the drugs in her luggage.
Ms Aliyu was arrested at her hotel in Medina by Saudi police last year after arriving for hajj with her family.
She has since been in detention until her release on Tuesday.
Social media campaign
Aliyu’s arrest and detention sparked protests across Nigeria with a social media hashtag #FreeZeinab initiated to secure her release.
This week President Muhammadu Buhari asked Nigeria’s attorney general to intervene and secure her freedom.
Hundreds of her fellow students gathered at Maitama Sule University in the northern city of Kano on Tuesday to demand her release.
President Buhari’s aide on Tuesday said a statement on twitter that Ms Aliyu’s release has been secured.
The Federal Government has secured the release of Zainab Habibu Aliyu who was arrested in Saudi Arabia for alleged drug trafficking. Details soon from Ministry of Foreign Affairs. #FreeZainab
— Bashir Ahmad (@BashirAhmaad) April 30, 2019
The National Drug Law Enforcement Agency of Nigeria (NDLEA) recently said it had uncovered a criminal gang that has resorted to planting illicit drugs in travellers’ luggage.
Ms Aliyu’s father reported the case to the police which triggered an investigation leading to the arrest arrest of six officials at Mallam Aminu Kano International Airport.
Drug trafficking is an offence in Saudi Arabia with offenders usually executed when found guilty.
This month a Nigerian woman was among four people executed in Saudi Arabia for drug trafficking offence.
Local media in Saudi Arabia reported that three other men were also executed for the same offence.
Two Pakistani men, a Yemeni man and the Nigerian woman were all put to death in the holy city of Mecca.