The Presidency said on Tuesday that the execution of a Nigerian woman over drug-related offence on Monday in Saudi Arabia was pathetic and tragic.
The Nigerian woman was among four persons executed by the Saudi authorities on Monday, according to that country’s Interior Ministry.
The others were two Pakistani men and a Yemeni man.
Saudi Arabia has executed 53 people this year alone over such offences.
The Senior Special Assistant to the President on Diaspora, Mrs Abike Dabiri-Erewa, who expressed the feeling of the Nigerian Government, recalled that the woman became the 8th Nigerian to die in similar circumstances.
The SSA, who spoke with State House correspondents in Abuja, disclosed that 20 others were still on the death row, besides 12 more already sentenced to jail.
She noted that the government was saddened by the fact that in some instances, the unfortunate Nigerians were the victims of drug cartels working with some airline workers.
Dabiri-Erewa said in some cases, drugs were stealthily put in the bags of unsuspecting pilgrims by the cartels only for them to be picked up on arrival in Saudi Arabia.
She stated that for such isolated cases, it was the desire of Nigeria that Saudi Arabia should show mercy, since the drugs were not transported with the knowledge of the victims.
The SSA added, “We have had cases where truly they didn’t commit the offence. We have appealed to the Saudi authorities to make the trials fair, open and ensure that justice is done. Even if you are going to die, you will know that you die for an offence you committed.
“So, while we appeal to Nigerians going to Saudi Arabia, we know it is tough, obey the laws of the land. Even kola nut is treated as a drug. So, we will continue to appeal to the Saudi authorities to treat some of the cases with some form of leniency.
“Like I said, we have 20 of them in Saudi; this is the 8th to be executed and we are hopeful that maybe we will be able to save the others. It is pathetic, it is tragic but we will continue to appeal to Nigerians to obey the laws of the land where you are.
“However, we expect the trial to be fair, open and ensure that justice truly is done.”