The Royal Embassy of Saudi Arabia has cleared the air on the deportation of 264 Nigerians upon entry into the Kingdom, stressing that the action was not targeted at Nigerians as it applies to citizens of other countries too.
The Federal Government had on Tuesday disclosed that according to reports it received from the Nigerian Consulate in Jeddah, 264 passengers from the Murtala Mohammed International Airport in Lagos and the Aminu Kano International Airport and landed at the King Abdulaziz International Airport – Hajj Terminal Jeddah, Saudi Arabia on Monday, November 23, 2023.
It was on arrival at the Hajj Terminal that the Saudi Immigration authorities informed the passengers aboard Air Peace Flight No. P4-752 flight that their visas had been cancelled.
Defending the decision in a statement on Wednesday, the Saudi Embassy in Abuja said the deported Nigerians submitted incorrect information to obtain a category of visa that did not apply to them, which was discovered upon their arrival.
“The Royal Embassy of Saudi Arabia in Abuja would like to make a clarification about the media reports and social media releases concerning the deportation of Nigerian citizens at the point of entry into the Kingdom.
“The passengers, who were denied entry, and subsequently deported to their initial destinations, did not fulfill the entry conditions and requirements in accordance with the applicable rules and regulations of the Kingdom, as they submitted incorrect information to obtain a category of visa that does not apply to them, which was discovered upon their arrival,” the statement read.
While harping on the need for visitors to follow the procedures and laws enacted by the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, the Royal Embassy said, “all passengers should review all the documents to determine their conformity with the conditions prior to departing from their countries to the Kingdom.”
“This procedure was not limited to Nigerian citizens only, but rather to citizens of other countries,” the statement added.