Nigerian woman wrongfully sentenced to death in Saudi Arabia for drug smuggling graduates from NDLEA academy

A young Nigerian woman Zainab Habibu, who was accused of smuggling drugs by Saudi authorities in 2018, has joined the National Drug Law and Enforcement Agency (NDLEA).

Zainab had spent four months in Saudi prison before her release on April 30, 2019.

The 25-year-old completed her assistant superintendent of narcotics course 15/2021 at the NDLEA Academy Katon Rikkos, Jos, Plateau State on Friday.

Her father Habibu Kila shared photos from the graduation on Facebook.

He said, “Alhamdulillah. God in His Infinite Merciful made it possible to celebrate the passing out of my daughter Zainab Habibu from the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency NDLEA Training School. She was wrongly accused of drugs related offense by the Saudi Authority in 2018. We are thankful to the Almighty God, in Whose protection we are celebrating.”

Zainab told BBC News Pidgin that the incident inspired her to become drugs law enforcer.

“What happened to me in 2018 changed my life forever and it inspired me to become an NDLEA officer so that I can contribute my own quota to drugs issue in Nigeria,” she said.

Zainab added that she would begin working to ensure proper investigation is done so that innocent persons are not detained.

The graduate of Maitama Sule University, Kano, was arrested at a Saudi airport after a banned drug, Tramadol, was found in her bag. She had reportedly travelled from Mallam Aminu Kano International Airport in company of her mother, Maryam, and sister, Hajara.

Nigerian authorities later arrested seven persons whom they believe put the drug in Zainab’s luggage.