Facts have emerged on how the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) was able to save the life of Zainab Aliyu, a Nigerian student from being killed innocently on alleged drug trafficking,
According to the NDLEA, the insistence of Zainab’s father, Habibu Kila Aliyu, played a key role in vindicating her.
The Nation reports that Kila, a journalist, visited the NDLEA office in Kano soon after news reached him of his daughter’s ordeal in Saudi Arabia to vouch for her integrity.
Nothing that only divine intervention prevented him from travelling with Zainab as he would not been able to make all the necessary for her release had he not been at home.
The NDLEA launched into an investigation after being convinced that there might be merit in his claim after all. This effort led to the arrest of 10 suspects, according to the NDLEA Commander in-charge of MAKIA, Ambrose Umoru.
“When Zainab was arrested at Saudi Arabia, the father visited us here at the airport, insisting that his daughter was innocent of the crime she was being accused of.
“This informed our decision to conduct a thorough investigation into the matter. The first thing we did was to look at the date they took off from the airport. From our records, we were able to establish that 10 people were on duty that very day.
“We went after them; we arrested the 10 of them and commenced serious interrogation. Initially, they denied being involved in the case, but after being detained for days, they started confessing their level of involvement. The number of the suspects was later reduced to six as the other four were confirmed to be innocent. These seven suspects owned up to the crime.
“In fact, the lady among them openly confessed to the father of Zainab and pleaded for forgiveness. Before they were taken to court, I remember how the lady held Zainab father’s leg, crying and asking him for forgiveness.”
He further revealed that the agency has since set up a committee to look at ways to avert future occurrence of such incident.
Noting that from their report, the Departure Hall was always overcrowded, a situation which could pave the way for enemies of the nation to perpetuate their nefarious acts.
“We have taken measures to address the rowdy nature of the Departure Hall because right now, passengers are allowed into the Departure Hall for screening in batches. We did this to decongest the crowd at the Departure Hall and make way for proper security checks.”
He also said that as part of the recommendation of the Committee, airline operators were instructed to provide a form where each passenger will indicate the number of luggage he or she is travelling with which is then duplicated.
“The passenger will have one and the airline operator will have the duplicate. This measure is also yielding results,” he noted.