The Federal Government has dismissed reports that 23 Nigerians are on death row in Saudi Arabia over drug-related offences.
Reports over the weekend had attributed a statement from Saudi authorities, saying the suspects were arrested between 2016 and 2017 at King Abdul-Aziz International Airport, Jeddah, and Prince Muhammad Bin Abdu-Aziz International Airport, Madinah.
The suspects were said to have concealed the narcotic substance in their rectum, an offence the country says is punishable by death.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs in a statement on Tuesday by its spokesman, Ferdinand Nwonye, said it was in contact with the Nigerian Mission in Saudi Arabia “and it has been confirmed that the story is false and should be disregarded.”
Mr Nwonye said the ministry was investigating claims that most of the trials were carried out without adequate legal representation for the accused, in accordance with internationally accepted legal principles.
“Furthermore, the Nigerian Mission was not informed of the arrests and trials. The Federal Government is, therefore, engaging the Saudi authorities through diplomatic channels with a view to finding a just solution,” the statement said.