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My life in prison in Saudi Arabia – Zainab Aliyu

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Zainab Aliyu was accused and arrested for smuggling packages of Tramadol into Saudi Arabia, an offence which carries a penalty of death sentence in the country.
It was later found out – after serious investigations both by the Nigerian government and Saudi Arabia, that the 22-year-old student had been wrongly accused — As she was set up by an airport drug trafficking cartel — that plant drugs in the bags of unsuspecting travellers or sometimes even tag their(travellers) particulars to bags containing hard drugs.
Zainab was exonerated and returned home last week to the joy of many Nigerians especially her family. In an interview with Daily Trust recently, she recounts her ordeal — From when she was arrested and sent to prison.

Read what she wrote below

My mother, my sister Hajara, and myself, we were sleeping in our hotel room, when suddenly some Arabs and two black men forcefully entered. They woke us up, all of us, and started asking questions about a consignment of drugs which they said we had illegally brought into the Holy Land from Nigeria. We asked what drugs and they said we left them at Jeddah Airport. Of course, we all denied the allegations and told them that we had not left any luggage at Jeddah. So, after they realized that we didn’t know anything about what they were asking us about, they searched my bag and the entire room, but they could not find anything incriminating. They told my mother that they were taking me to their office for further investigation because the consignment of drugs they found was bearing my name, and therefore I must follow them to their office to answer some questions.
I began to cry, out of a mix of fear and confusion, and my mother and sister also started crying because we all knew that we did not travel with any prohibited item into the country, not to talk of drugs. After we left the hotel, I realized that I was not the only person arrested, because I met Malam Ibrahim Abubakar, who was also arrested for the same allegation. Apparently, they arrested him first, then me. But we were taken to the office together. So, when we arrived at their office in Madinah, they gave us some forms and asked us to fill, which we did. After that, we were kept in the office until the next day.
They seized my phone, so there was no way I could communicate with my mother. In fact, at that time I was confused because I was not even myself Wallahi. I was just crying and thinking of what might happen to me, or where I would be taken to. I was completely confused. So, the next day, we were taken to Jeddah, like the security agents said, for further investigation. Again, we were given papers and directed to fill, and we did. They also snapped several photos of me, before I was taken to a female prison, while Baba Ibrahim Abubakar was taken to the male prison. I was taken to the prison located outside Jeddah, around 12am Saudi time. That’s how we were separated. You know we travelled to Saudi Arabia on the same airplane and we were arrested the same day for the same allegation, even though we stayed in different hotels. When we met, he asked me about my own situation, and I told him. He then told me about his own case, and from there we realized that we were facing a similar problem. Since then, we continued communicating, even though some of the security agents warned him to stop talking to me.
Nobody told me where I was to be taken to, and even after I was taken there, I never imagined that it was a prison, because deep inside my heart, I knew I did not commit any offense that would warrant such punishment. But after some time, I realized that I was actually taken to prison. So, I was given a room, and we were four in it. In fact, it is after I got there that one of my roommates helped me with her cell phone with which I called my mother.
After I spent three weeks there, some officials visited us and they gave us an assurance that they would do everything to ensure that we were released. But since then, nobody visited us again. They only returned to the prison the very day I was released.
Honestly, it was terrible, because you don’t have rights. You are restricted from doing so many things. You’re always thinking of your future. You have no certainty of your condition, whether you are going to be freed or not. You don’t even know your fate. So, it is a kind of life that cannot be explained; it is only when you taste it that you will understand. What shocked me the first day I entered the prison was that the inmates told me that if I was found guilty of the offence I was accused of, my punishment was death. So, understandably, I was devastated. But because my parents were always counselling me, I dedicated myself to prayers.
Well, sometimes I did, that one day, I was going to be out of the situation. But sometimes, I did give up. However, anytime I spoke with my family, they gave me the courage that yes, one day, I would certainly regain freedom. My father always told me that I should leave everything to Allah and that whatever condition I found myself in, Allah has the power to take me out of it. He always told me to have faith in Allah, and that He would surely come to my aid. And Alhamdullilah, here am I today granting you an interview, at home, in my father’s sitting room. Alhamdulillah! I thank President Muhammadu Buhari, Madam Abike Dabiri, and the Minister of Justice, Justice Malami, and all others who in one way or the other contributed to my release. To my fellow students at Yusuf Maitama Sule University, and other tertiary institutions, who showed real love to me while I was held, I say thank you all.

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Nigeria Ranks Third On Global Terrorism Index Despite Drop In Deaths – Report

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Nigeria Ranks Third On Global Terrorism Index Despite Drop In Deaths – Report

Boko Haram

Nigeria has been ranked as the third most terrorized country in the world according to a 2020 report by the Global Terrorism Index (GTI).

The report which was released on Wednesday, ranked Nigeria third only behind war-torn countries of Afghanistan and Iraq.

According to the GTI report, Nigeria witnessed an increase in Boko Haram attacks in the period under review, witnessing her worst terrorist attack in 2019 in northeastern Borno State, where at least 70 people were killed and 10 others wounded when insurgents attacked at a funeral.

Also Read: Presidency Clears Air On N150,000 Monthly Payment To Repentant Boko Haram Members

“Over the past year, Boko Haram increased attacks on military targets, with deaths rising from 26 in 2018 to 148 in 2019,” the report said.

However, the report recognized that terror-related incidents in the country fell by 27% in the same period due to a significant reduction in violence attributed to killer herdsmen.

“This reduction occurred despite a small increase in deaths attributed to Boko Haram, which has been the most active terrorist group in the country over the past decade. Deaths from terrorism in Nigeria are now 83 percent lower than at
their peak in 2014.”

 

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Nigeria’s Communications Minister, Isa Pantami, Loses 13-year-old Daughter

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Nigeria's Communications Minister, Isa Pantami, Loses 13-year-old Daughter

Communications minister, Isa Pantami

Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Isa Ali Pantami, has announced the loss of his 13-year-old daughter, Aishah Isa Ali.

The Minister took to his Twitter account on Monday night to announce this sad news.

Pantami stated that the funeral prayer for the deceased will be conducted in Abuja on Tuesday at Annur Masjeed, Wuse 2.

Also Read: Gunmen Evict NIDCOM Staff From Office On Minister’s Order

The post by the minister announcing the incident reads; “Inna lil Laahi wa inna ilaiHi Rajiun! My 13-year old daughter, Aishah Isa Ali (Amal) passed away just a moment ago.

“Due to some necessities, funeral prayer tomorrow at Annur Masjeed, Wuse 2, immediately after Zuhr prayer In sha Allah. May Allah forgive and be merciful to her.”

 

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Cult Violence: Wike Imposes Two-Week Curfew Around Okoro-Nu-Odu

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Cult Violence: Wike Imposes Two-Week Curfew Around Okoro-Nu-Odu

Governor Wike

Governor Nyesom Wike of Rivers State has imposed a 24-hour total curfew for two weeks on some parts of Port-Harcourt, the state capital.

The Governor made this known during a broadcast on Sunday where he noted that the curfew begins from Monday 23rd November 2020.

The statement noted that the upsurge noticed by the state government in cases of cult activities, other forms of violence, and killings is responsible for the curfew.

Also Read: Umahi Unhappy With PDP Because Atiku Picked Peter Obi – Wike

Wike in the statement declared that the entire area along and around the Okoro-nodu flyover up to a one-kilometre radius from Saint Emmanuel Anglican Church, Rumuokoro, extending to the Rumuodomaya Slaughter and Local Government daily market will be affected.

He added that no form of trading, human or vehicular movement is allowed in the affected areas until further notice.

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