Three Nigerian pilgrims arrested in Saudi Arabia for alleged drug trafficking
The Saudi Arabian authorities have arrested three pilgrims from Kwara State for alleged possession of substance suspected to be cocaine.Hajia Fatima Abolore-Jimoh, the Executive Secretary, Kwara Muslim Pilgrims Welfare Board, confirmed the arrest yesterday from Saudi Arabia).
She said the three pilgrims, who were among the first batch of 505 from Kwara, were arrested in Madinnah by Saudi Arabia security operatives.The executive secretary, who did not disclose the identities of the three suspects, said they were still in the custody of Saudi Arabian authorities.
Abolore-Jimoh said the Saudi Arabian law would certainly take its course on the three suspected drug traffickers.She described the arrest as unfortunate and painful in spite of several appeals to pilgrims to be good ambassadors of Nigeria.1,978 pilgrims from the state are performing the 2016 pilgrimage exercise.
In a related development, the Lagos State government has warned the 2,192 pilgrims from the state embarking on this year’s pilgrimage not to take kolanut and magical items to the holy land to avoid being arrested.
Commissioner for Home Affairs, Dr. AbdulLateef AbdulHakeem, who issued the warning on Tuesday at the Muritala International Airport during the inaugural flight of the state’s pilgrims, also implored them to obey the laws of Nigeria and particularly that of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia by keeping away from banned drugs, liquid products and fake currency.
He cautioned them to avoid any attitude or act that was capable of causing stampede as it occurred last year, saying: “I pray that this year’s hajj will be hitch-free, there will be no casualty and accident during the exercise”.
AbdulHakeem furher enjoined the intending pilgrims to support the anti-corruption crusade of the Federal, State and Local Governments which needed men who have the best of spiritual conduct to succeed.The commissioner urged urged intending pilgrims from the state to return home as better Muslims.and guard against any evil tendencies, saying that it was essential that they add value to Nigeria and particularly, Lagos State.