A Nigerian man, Ibrahim Abubakar, who was wrongly detained in Saudi Arabia for alleged drug trafficking, says he will never forgive those who planted hard drugs inside his luggage.
Abubakar was arrested and detained on December 26 alongside Nigerian student Zainab Aliyu (22) by the authorities in Saudi Arabia.
Speaking in an interview with Daily Trust, Abubakar said a man named Abdulkadir was the one who landed him in the trouble that could have ended his life.
Abubakar who was released after he had spent four months in prison in Saudi said when he and other passengers arrived Jedda, went through security check successfully and were received by someone who took them to Medina.
He said at Medina, they were received by someone else who took them in as guests but things went sour when some persons came looking for him in the night and arrested thereafter.
“At the Malam Aminu Kano International Airport, one Alhaji Haruna, who was my guide, took me to a man called Abdulkadir, who was holding my passport. That was the first time I met him. I had a Ghana-must-go bag with three pairs of clothes and a copy of the Quran,” he said.
“I suspect that Abdulkadir was the architect of what befell me. Only God can exonerate him. I hold that belief because he was the one that handled my travel documents and all the processes.
“Zainab Aliyu and her family members were also on board, but I didn’t know them at that time. At Madina, another person received us, saying we were his guests. Later in the night, I heard somebody knocking at the door. When I opened the door, I saw that person who hosted us, together with some people wearing Jallabiya. They asked whether I was Ibrahim Abubakar and I said yes. Our host asked me to give them my passport and I told him that it was in my bag under the bed. As I turned back towards the bed, they arrested me and handcuffed me.
“We were taken to court a number of times and there was an interpreter who explained whatever they said there. He told me that 1,000 tabs of hard drugs were seen in a bag with my tag. I told him that it wasn’t mine and I didn’t know how it happened. I don’t know who really did it, but I will never forgive him.”
Abubakar said while he in prison, he could do was to pray constantly.
“I was not able to eat to my satisfaction in prison, not because there was not enough food but because I was not used to their kind of food. I was the only Nigerian amongst them. Others were Saudis, Pakistanis, Yemenis, Bengalis and other nationals. They could all speak Arabic. I was the only one who couldn’t understand the language and none of them understood Hausa. So there was a language barrier between us.”
He revealed that it was Zainab who told her father about him so that he could add him to effort being made to secure the release of his daughter.
He also revealed that unlike Zainab who was received by the Nigerian embassy, he was released without any form of guidance, didn’t know his way around the beclanguagehe language barrier.
He revealed that after moving for a while with a Senegalese man who was also released from prison at the same time, he met some Nigerians at Khartina, who took care of him.
The embassy later heard of him and sent a vehicle to pick him — And that was how he came home.