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Nigerian Senator Arrested in Saudi Arabia

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senator barataThe Federal Government said it is yet to be briefed by the Nigerian embassy on the arrest and detention of a former Chairman, Senate Committee on Culture and Tourism, Senator Hassan Barata, in Saudi Arabia.

Barata was said to have been arrested and detained for overstaying in Saudi Arabia and for claiming to be an employee of the Nigerian embassy – a claim that was found to be untrue.

Barata was carrying an official passport already revoked by the Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS) on the orders of the Federal Government.

The spokesman, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ahmedu Ogbole-Ode, said it is waiting for a full report on the circumstances that led to the detention of the former governorship aspirant in Adamawa State.

Ogbole-Ode told newsmen on Friday that the MFA was expecting a full report of the incident which he said would determine the next step from the government.

He said, “We are waiting for a full report on the incident from Saudi Arabia; it’s when we get the report that we can decide the next step to take. I have made attempts to reach the embassy there, but the telephone network was bad and I couldn’t reach them.”

When contacted, the Nigeria Immigration Service said it had yet to get a report on the incident too.

When asked if the service would sanction Barata for using an official passport against the rules, the NIS Public Relations Officer, Ekpedeme King, explained that the service would need to get a full report before he could comment on what would be done to the former senator.

“I can’t speak on the matter until we get a full report of the incident, that is the time we can comment on the development,” he said.

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