Kudirat Afolabi, the Nigerian widow and mother of two executed in Saudi Arabia, carried drugs on her body, including her private parts, it has been revealed.
Abike Dabiri-Erewa, Senior Special Assistant to the President on Foreign Relations and the Diaspora, made the revelation on Friday while spekaing with NAN.
According to Dabiri-Erewa, the clarification became necessary so as to educate the public on the circumstances leading to the execution of the Nigerian.
Afolabi was executed alongside two Pakistani men and one Yemeni man, bringing the total number of people killed by Saudi Arabia this year to 53.
There had been attempts, especially on social media, to link Afolabi’s fate with the activities of a drug syndicate operating at Malam Aminu Kano International Airport, Kano, which specilizes in planting drugs in the baggage of unsuspecting travellers.
But Dabiri-Erewa said Afolabi did not belong to the list of seven who are suspected to have fallen victim of the four-man gang of hard drugs-planting syndicate.
“There are some people caught in Kano, but those they allegedly gave the drugs to are yet to face trials in Saudi,” she said.
“What we can now do is to prevail on the Saudi authority that those people awaiting trials in their country are among the victims of the Kano syndicate. If Nigeria can do this, through National Drugs and Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) and the Nigerian mission in Saudi Arabia, they might not even be charged to court.”
On the widow, she said: “Ms Afolabi was one of those drugs were found on their bodies. They were 20 in number. They are the ones on the death roll, as drugs were found on their bodies, including their private parts.
“In their case, the Saudis do not appear to waste so much time on them. What is on social media that the lady could have been saved was incorrect. There was no way we could have done that. She was found with drugs on her body; just like the other 20.”
Afer Afolabi’s execution, it was revealed that another Nigerian, Saheed Sobade, was facing the prospect of death in Saudi Arabia after being nabbed with 1,183 grams of cocaine powder in Jeddah, a Saudi Arabian port city on the Red Sea and gateway for pilgrimages to the Islamic holy cities Mecca and Medina.
The Royal Embassy of Saudi Arabia in Nigeria responded to widespread criticism of Afolabi’s execution by insisting that all legal and judicial procedures were observed.
“It is well-known for all those interested in travelling to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia that the penalty for drug trafficking is the death sentence and the said sentence 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 said.