Saudi Arabia is defending its legal system following the controversy that trailed the beheading of a Nigerian woman, Kudirat Adeshola Afolabi, for drug trafficking.
No fewer than 23 Nigerians are on the death row in the kingdom.
The Ambassador of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Amb. Adnan Mahmoud Bostaji, yesterday said sentences are only carried out after the evidence has been established.
He described the legal system as transparent, adding that it works on fairness and justice.
He also said about 1.5million Nigerians live in Saudi Arabia unmolested.
Bostaji pleaded with the authorities at all Nigerian airports to implement procedures that will prevent drug smuggling.
The Nation has stumbled on a document listing 23 more Nigerians on the death row in Saudi Arabia.
In an exclusive interview with our correspondent, Amb. Bostaji said: “The legal system in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is transparent and only works on fairness and justice.
“Death sentences are only carried out after all evidence has been established, and this is exactly what was done in the case of the recently executed Nigerian woman.
“ In fact, in her recent statement, the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Foreign Affairs and the Diaspora, Mrs. Abike Dabiri-Arewa, condemned what the woman had done.
“I hope the media and social networking channels will restrain themselves from hasty judgments and comments. I believe that we all have an interest in doing justice.
“I also want them to note that there is continuous coordination, as well as cooperation, between the officials and the embassies of both countries.
“The two countries have had robust years of bilateral relationship, including cooperation on various international matters of mutual interest.”
According to Bostaji, about 1.5 million Nigerians are living in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia without molestation.
He said: “I would like to also state that there are good Nigerian citizens living in the Kingdom and they are very active within the Saudi society. Saudi Arabia has nothing against Nigerians.
“As at today, we have over 1.5 m Nigerians in Saudi Arabia in virtually all sectors of our economy.
“These 1.5 million Nigerians are legitimately engaged in various services and they are not being molested. You should not use the misconduct of a few Nigerians to assume that all is not well between the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and Nigeria.
“I would also urge the authorities at all Nigerian airports to take measures and implement procedures that would guarantee the prevention of drug smuggling.”
No fewer than 23 Nigerians are on the death row in Saudi Arabia, their fate hanging in the balance.
The convicted Nigerians are: Adeniyi Adebayo Zikri; Tunde Ibrahim; Jimoh Idhola Lawal; Lolo Babatunde; Sulaiman Tunde; Idris Adewuumi Adepoju; Abdul Raimi Awela Ajibola; Yusuf Makeen Ajiboye; Adam Idris Abubakar; Saka Zakaria; and Biola Lawal.
Others are: Isa Abubakar Adam; Ibrahim Chiroma; Hafis Amosu; Aliu Muhammad; Ms. Funmilayo Omoyemi Bishi; Ms. Mistura Yekini; Amina Ajoke Alobi; Kuburat Ibrahim; Alaja Olufunke Alalaoe Abdulqadir; Fawsat Balagun Alabi; Aisha Muhammad Amira; and Adebayo Zakariya.
According to the document, the Nigerians were found guilty of allegedly contravening the “Narcotic and Psychotropic Substances Control Law, issued under Royal Decree No. M/39 dated 8/7/1428AH and is punishable with the death penalty.
“Unfortunately, between 2016-2017, these Nigerians were arrested at King Abdul-Aziz International Airport, Jeddah and Prince Muhammad bin Abdu- Aziz International Airport, Madinah for smuggling narcotic drugs concealed in their rectums.”
ISWAP: It‘s Time to Rise Against Islamic State Terrorists Tormenting Nigerians, Others, SHAC Tells World Leaders
The international community has been asked to rise against the killings of innocent Nigerians by Islamic State of West African Province around the Lake Chad Basin Region.
Save Humanity Advocacy Centre, which made this call on Sunday , said world leaders must act fast to curb the activities of the terrorists around the Lake Chad Basin and the consequent risk this has posed to harmless women and children.
Grace Akatu, Executive Director of the group, while addressing a press conference on Sunday said activities of ISWAP around the Lake Chad Basin region are sources of concern given the way and manner it has continued to maim, harass and kill innocent people that consist mainly of women and children.
The group, therefore, called for urgent intervention from countries around the world to join forces with the Nigerian Authorities in combating the menace of ISWAP around the Lake Chad basin.
Full text of her speech below.
The activities of ISWAP has constituted an enormous threat to the economies of countries around the Lake Chad basin such Cameroon, Niger, and Chad, hence the need for urgent intervention in a bid to address the menace that activities of ISWAP have posed in the Lake Chad Basin region.
The Nigerian Authorities cannot address the ISWAP challenge alone; it consequently behoves on all well-meaning countries to join forces with Nigeria in confronting this terrorist organization.
The Save Humanity Advocacy Centre believes that if the activities of ISWAP are not curtailed, peace and meaningful development might elude the countries in the Lake Chad Basin region and beyond.
The atrocities committed by ISWAP in the region are unimaginable and should be of great concern to lovers of peace and sustainable development around the world.
The Save Humanity Advocacy Centre consequently calls on all the countries in the world to see the threat posed by ISWAP as a global threat rather than a regional threat because of the support it enjoys from international terrorist networks around the world.
The Save Humanity Advocacy Centre also calls of international humanitarian organizations such as the United Nations and its affiliates to rise to this challenge posed by ISWAP in a bid to ensure that the world is a better place and women and children are protected from harm.
The Save Humanity Advocacy Centre reiterates that the efforts of the Nigerian Authorities must be complemented in a bid to rid ISWAP out of the Lake Chad Basin region in the overall interest of peace.
We consequently believe that the urgency of now requires that all the necessary support the world can avail Nigeria should be given in the quest to defeat terrorism in Nigeria, as well as the Lake Chad Basin region. The world must indeed act fast.
Eko DisCo is the Best in Nigeria, Says NERC Chairman
The Chairman of the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC), Prof. James Momoh, has commended the management of Eko Electricity Distribution Company (EKEDC) for being the best performed distribution company in Nigeria.
Momoh gave the commendation at the completion of training programme for the 100 newly employed graduates by the company in Lagos.
He said the DisCo has performed credibly well in discharging its statutory obligations towards effective electricity distribution to customers within its operational area.
He said the company has attained 100 per cent customer complaint resolution, adding that part of the NERC scorecard indices used for the rating include Aggregate Technical, Commercial and Collection (ATC&C) loss reduction, revenue collection and metering.
Others are High Voltage fault clearance index, remittance to Market Operator and remittance to Nigerian Bulk Electricity Trading Company (NBET).
According to him, the Meter Assess Provider (MAP) programme has come to stay because all DisCos had signed an agreement with the meter providers within their operation to kick start the rollout of metering but it’s not free.
“Meter distribution is going to be on monthly basis to customers as DisCos are committed to MAP services. MAP is not a problem; Nigerians will get meter but they have to follow the procedure to get the meters.
“Cost-reflective tariff will be effective when there are no more losses in the system. When meters are installed and issues of customers enumeration is put in place and that will address most lingering issues in the sector.
“Very soon the price regime on cost reflective tariff will be out which electricity customers will also partake in the discussion to put the power sector in the right direction,” he said.
The NERC chairman tasked the newly employed graduates to be more committed, dedicated and focused in the course of their duties.
He said that achieving incremental, stable and uninterrupted power in a safe and affordable manner is required of distribution companies which need not to be compromised.
Momoh said: “To achieve optimal energy generation, transmission and distribution, there is need for capacity building to design, construct, build and test the new grid that is sustainable.
“Need new curriculum for Universities that would be revised for every electrical engineering student to take economic courses, finance and vice-versa; the general course in apps design and communication, data analytics should be taught.
In his remarks, Mr. Charles Momoh, the Chairman of EKEDC, advised the newly employed graduates to take the job very seriously and be more focused on achieving their goals, adding that the system will also reward quality, dedication and commitment to service delivery.
Momoh said: “You are the growth that will control the economy. We want you to be free and relate very well and avoid partaking in politics, gossip and disobedience.
The Managing Director of Eko DisCo, Mr Adeoye Fadeyibi, said: “We are here for an unprecedented premier edition of EKEDC training programme where we have 100 individuals who are graduating today, something that has not been done before in this particular distribution company, where we carefully selected from almost 1,300 applicants.
“We have been able to fairly look at 100 people that we are celebrating today as they are graduating from this programme. We have a mix of 60 per cent of entry level, 30 per cent of mid-level and 10 per cent experts or experienced level. The idea was for them to go through detailed rotation, to ensure that they are good in different departments and come out being very confident. And to also have the capacity to turnaround the power sector,” he said.
Fadeyibi, said the training will bridge the gap for the company, saying that “I am also excited because as a Nigerian, I see a lot of our colleagues in other DisCos probably joining us to do the same or even better.
“At EKEDC, we don’t pay lip service; there is lot more to do. Not just for EKEDC but for everybody else. We are the number one in the country, the key areas we have focused on and succeeded in the last two years include being accessible to customers. We are present online, on social media and direct interactions.
We ensure that customers’ engagement is key. In ensuring quality of service, we ensure to continue to improve our network. We have zero tolerance for safety issues, you can see the reduced amount of incidence that we have faced.
According to Fadeyibi, these are not young graduates, we have the majority that are young graduates but we also have to put a lot of focus on mid-level and the experienced because you can imagine some of the middle level are taking a chance in their career to move into a new area in most cases.
We have already started to see the impact, even during their six months. This is a little over six month programme, intensive like I said, and what we expect is that they will now move into the departments a little focused, understand the clear mission of the company which is to ensure we are the number one customer-focused utility company, not just in Africa but have to compete globally.
So, at the end of the day, what does that mean to customer is how do we start working towards this 24/7 uninterrupted service and I am excited that we are on the right track now.
Baru Tasks Staff on Optimum Productivity, As He Commissions Duke Oil Office Complex
The Group Managing Director of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Dr. Maikanti Baru, has tasked staff of the National Oil Company to bolster their productivity.
The NNPC helmsman’s charge came during his inauguration of a new office complex of its crude oil trading subsidiary, Duke Oil (NNPC Trading), in Abuja.
Performing the inauguration of the building, Dr. Baru said studies had shown that a conducive office environment promotes productivity and enjoined staff of the company to translate their satisfaction with the new office complex into optimum productivity and profitability.
“I have been appropriately briefed on the design and location of the new Duke Oil (NNPC Trading) office building. I am pleased to inform you that it has all the necessary features capable of bolstering staff productivity,” Baru submitted.
He declared at the commissioning of the high-tech office complex located in Maitama, Abuja, that the introduction of new business models which saw the coalescing of Duke Oil, Hyson and Carlson into a single company known as NNPC Trading, under the 12 Business Focus Areas (12 BUFAs) was beginning to pay off.
The 12 BUFAS refers to the 12-point agenda Dr. Baru set for the corporation on assumption of office in July 2016.
“I am pleased to state that the inauguration of the Duke Oil (NNPC Trading) office complex today, perhaps, physicalized the consolidation,” Dr. Baru enthused.
He stated that the company was competing favourably well with other local and international crude oil trading companies, adding that he was impressed with the performance of the company in the last couple of years.
The GMD recalled how, in 2004, as the Managing Director of the company, it was difficult to pay staff, stressing that as at today the company had been transformed into a profit centre.
He explained that the company was still operating under the name of Duke Oil pending the resolution of some legal issues.
The highpoint of the vent was the unveiling of the company’s logo.
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