Trending right now in Nigeria is the list of 23 Nigerians said to be on death row in Saudi Arabia over drug-related offences. They were arrested between 2016 and 2017 at King Abdul-Aziz International Airport, Jeddah, and Prince Muhammad Bin Abdu-Aziz International Airport, Madinah.
The list was first published in April after the execution of Nigerian widow, Kudirat Afolabi, who had brought into Saudi Arabia, a prohibited drug.
The list, comprising mainly Yoruba and some few Hausa/Fulani people, all Muslims, was exhumed on Sunday by some Twitterati to show that crime is not limited to a particular ethnic group in Nigeria.
The list #23Nigerians was the number one trending topic on Nigerian Twitter, supplanting #Igboyahooboys, which emerged after the FBI released on Thursday the list of almost 80 Nigerians, indicted for wire fraud, romance scams and Business email compromise crimes. Later another hashtag, #yorubadrugdealers emerged.
Commenters on Sunday bemoaned how the Nigerians, from the Yoruba and Igbo ethnic groups, are destroying the national reputation, internationally.
Some commenters even wondered why Nigerians would risk taking drugs to Saudi Arabia when they knew the consequences if caught.
The Saudi Arabian Government said back in April that the 23 suspects concealed the narcotic substance in their rectum, an act the Saudi Government says contravenes its narcotic and psychotropic substances rules.
The offence is punishable by death. Back in April then, Saheed Sobade, another Nigerian was also awaiting execution.
“It is well-known for all those interested in travelling to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia that the penalty for drug trafficking is the death sentence and the said sentence is applied on all persons convicted without any exceptions, as long as the evidence is established against them, and this is conveyed to every person prior to his trip to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia,” the Royal Embassy of Saudi Arabia said in April, after Nigerians criticized the killing of Afolabi.
See the full list of Nigerians arrested for drug trafficking:
The Saudis have not said whether the trial of the 23 suspects has been concluded and whether they will all face the death penalty. Their last word on the matter was published in April.