Federal government to appeal to Saudi Arabia over fate of 15 Nigerians currently on death row

NIGERIA federal government is stepping up talks with Saudi Arabia in the hope of getting a retrieve for the 15 of its citizens currently on death row in the country after they were found guilty and convicted of drug trafficking.


Saudi Arabia is a country that hands out the death penalty for anyone convicted if drug trafficking under its strict Sharia law. Nigeria's foreign minister Geoffrey Onyeama, said that the federal government would continue to engage the Saudi authorities in negotiations over the fate of its citizens on death row.


He confirmed that there were no fewer than 25 Nigerian drug suspects held in several prisons across Saudi Arabia. Apparently, 15 of the suspects were on death row, while three had been executed, leading to a call for Nigeria's federal government to intervene.


Mr Onyeama said: "We have made very strong intercession over the issue with government of those countries to review the cases and not to execute them. However, you know that there is a limit because these are sovereign countries which have their rules and laws but as far as the Saudi Arabia is concerned, we have been intervening at government level with authorities of that country.”


He added that government was also working with some non-governmental organisations on the matter. Of late, several other countries like Indonesia have been known to execute Nigerians convicted of drug smuggling.