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By: Oluwatosin Adesola
The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has said that all legal and judicial proceedings before the execution of Nigerian national, convicted of drug trafficking, Mrs. Kudirat Adesola Afolabi were observed.
They made this known in a statement released by the Royal Embassy of Saudi Arabia in Abuja, while making reference to a statement made by Senior Special Assistant to the President on Foreign Affairs and the Diaspora, Mrs. Abike Dabiri-Erewa published by The Nation newspaper, titled, “Fed Gov. kicks as Saudi Arabia executes Nigeria.”
The statement also mentioned that death sentences are only carried out after all proof and legal evidence have been exhausted, and all allegations against the accused have been proven “without reasonable doubt.”
“All convicted persons on whom the death penalty has been carried out in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia have gone through trials characterized by legal guarantee of justice to their case because the Kingdom’s judicial system is established on objectivity and is dependent, in terms of its rules and regulations, on the Islamic Law, which has always restored rights to their owners and done justice to the victims. This is what the Kingdom has always affirmed,” the statement read.
The statement also made mention that all accused are given access to lawyers, as well as the country providing lawyers to those who cannot afford legal aid.
The Nigerian ministry of foreign affairs revealed that the missions in Saudi Arabia were not contacted before the decision of executing Mrs. Afolabi was made but only invited to the execution on April 1st.
The Saudi mission statement on the other hand, contradicted this, and said saying that the Nigerian Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Saudi Arabia is in constant communication with both the Nigerian Embassy in Riyadh and Consulate General in Jeddah, as well as all other diplomatic missions in the country.
“The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia provides them with all facilitations and information and allows their staff to visit their nationals that are detained vis-à-vis a variety of charges as are related to the different stages of their detention and prosecution, and this is allowed every time of their request through normal channels.”
The statement concluded on the note that the kingdom will continue to enforce the penalties as the drug trafficking law says, in order to combat the menace and protect its citizens from it.