Aidoghie Paulinus, Abuja
The Federal Government, yesterday, officially expressed displeasure over the execution of a Nigerian, Mrs Kudirat Adesola Afolabi, on Monday, in Saudi Arabia.
Government made its position known following summons of the Saudi Arabia Ambassador to Nigeria, Adnan Bostaji.
He was summoned by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, in Abuja.
The summons was sequel to public outcry over the execution.
Afolabi, a widow and mother of two, was executed alongside two Pakistan nationals, both males, and a Yemeni man; for drug trafficking.
Speaking after a closed door meeting, the ministry’s Permanent Secretary, ambassador Mustapha Suleiman, confirmed that the meeting was in connection with the execution of the Nigerian woman.
Suleiman said the meeting discussed conveyance of government’s position and reservations about what had happened in Saudi Arabia.
“The position was that we are dissatisfied, we are not happy with what happened because we expected some more communication before we got to this level. And, that was exactly what we conveyed to the Saudi authorities through the ambassador,” Suleiman said.
He added that, going forward, government will ensure that whenever a Nigerian citizen is arrested or on trial, the Nigerian Mission in Saudi Arabia should be informed and follow up on the case.
The Nigerian mission, Suleiman also said, would ensure that Nigerian citizens in Saudi Arabia get the best of fair trial and make sure that the judicial and diplomatic processes involved are also established.
In his response, Bostaji said the Saudi government found Afolabi guilty and the execution was in compliance with its laws.
On the issue of informing the Nigerian government of such cases, he said the Saudi Arabia government already has a direct communication with the Nigerian embassy in Riyadh and the ministry of Foreign Affairs.
“And, if they asked about any of the Nigerian citizens, they will give them all the information about that. We will follow up about that with the ministry of Foreign Affairs here,” Bostaji said.
Bostaji further added the important thing is for both countries to work together directly to deepen the relations between both countries.