Nigeria to Rescue Citizen on Death Row in Saudi Arabia

Chairperson and Chief Executive Officer of the Nigerians in Diaspora Commission Abike Dabiri-Erewa speaks after a first group of Nigerians repatriated from South Africa following xenophobic violence arrived in Lagos, on September 11, 2019. (Photo by Olukayode Jaiyeola/NurPhoto)

The family of Sulaimon Olufemi, a Nigerian sentenced to death in Saudi Arabia over his alleged role in the killing of a police officer, has appealed to the federal government to save him.

Sulaimon was sentenced to death in Saudi Arabia in 2002 for reportedly being part of a mob that killed a Saudi Arabian police officer.

In its appeal to the Nigerians in Diaspora Commission (NIDCOM), the head of the Olufemi family, Mr Olabode Olufemi, at a meeting with NIDCOM chairperson, Mrs Abike Dabiri-Erewa, said that before his departure for Saudi Arabia, Sulaimon was never a trouble maker.

“Sulaimon is a child of peace and gentle spirit. We appeal to the Government of Saudi Arabia to spare the life of our son.

“We also appeal to NIDCOM, Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Association of Nigerians in Diaspora in Saudi Arabia to come to our rescue,” Olabode pleaded.

Responding, Dabiri-Erewa pledged that the commission would do its best in getting clemency for Sulaimon.

“The Association of Nigerians in Diaspora in Saudi Arabia, NIDCOM and Ministry of Foreign Affairs would develop synergy on the rescue mission.

“We are hopeful that Sulaimon would be saved through the clemency of the victim’s daughter, who was 18 years old when the incident happened.

“It is a pity that out of 11 people arrested, it was Suleiman, that ended up bagging a death sentence,” she observed.

She further urged Nigerians in Diaspora to always be of good character, because NIDCOM is based on transparency and integrity, warning that ”this commission won’t support negative characters”.

“Another good point I want to drive is that any Nigerian that wishes to travel outside the country must do it legally. Illegal migration has its own demerits,” the NIDCOM boss said.

She further emphasised that President Muhammadu Buhari had created empowerment programs that everyone, especially youths, could benefit from instead of migrating illegally.

The President and Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Association of Nigerians in Diaspora in Saudi Arabia, Mr Mohammadu Yaro fastracked the meeting between the victim’s family and NIDCOM, based on the commission’s mandate of overseeing the affairs of Nigerians in Diaspora.

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