Zainab, Student Falsely Accused of Drug Trafficking By Saudi Arabia, Completes NYSC

The young woman who was in April 2019 rescued from imminent execution in Saudi Arabia by the intervention of Nigeria’s Minister for Justice, Abubakar Malami; Abike Dabiri-Erewa CEO of the Nigerians in Diaspora Commission NiDCOM, Geoffrey Onyeama Minister for Foreign Affairs, and president Muhammadu Buhari, has completed her National Youth Service Corps assignment, a compulsory post tertiary education one-year Service in Nigeria. Zainab Habib Aliyu was put in prison for four months on the accusation of concealing banned drugs in her luggage, but investigation later found that the bag did not belong to her but a drug trafficking syndicate had tagged the bag with her name. It was also discovered that the syndicate had been in the act of concealing drugs in the bags of innocent and unsuspecting victims or even, tagging a bag that does not belong to a passenger, in the name of innocent travelers.

An overjoyed Zainab Habib Aliyu displaying her NYSC Certificate

Zainab had denied knowledge of the bag, disowning it outright. But the authorities were adamant and she was taken away from the Medina hotel apartment she where her family lodged, straight to detention in prison. She was only moments away from being executed before the Federal Government of Nigeria reached out to the Saudi Arabia Government to investigate the claims.

Narrating her experience to the BBC on 1st May 2019, the young woman said that she cried until she could felt she had no tears left, while in detention in the 124 long days before her rescue. She said she was in a room with her parents and siblings in December 2018 when some security personnel came looking for Zainab Habib Aliyu, saying that they found Tramadol in her bag. Despite explaining that her bag was with her and there was no such drug inside, the security team said that the bag was with the authorities already.

Zainab Habib Aliyu, young woman falsely accused of drug trafficking, sheds tears as she narrated her experiences in Saudi Arabia prison

Miss Aliyu was a final year student when she was taken into custody. She was studying at the Kano State Government owned Yusuf Maitama Sule University, previously called North West University Kano.

Many prominent Nigerians have congratulated 23 year old Zainab on her successful Youth Service. Among them the warm Abike Dabiri-Erewa who did not hide her glee at the news about Zainab.

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