The Royal Embassy of Saudi Arabia in Abuja has issued a statement clarifying the deportation of Nigerian passengers at the point of entry into the Kingdom.
The statement issued on Wednesday said that the passengers who were denied entry and subsequently deported to their initial destinations did not fulfil the entry conditions and requirements in accordance with the applicable rules and regulations of the Kingdom.
The embassy said that the passengers submitted incorrect information to obtain a category of visa that does not apply to them, which was discovered upon their arrival.
It stressed the importance of following the procedures and laws enacted by the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia for all visitors.
“Furthermore, all passengers should review all the documents to determine their conformity with the conditions prior to departing from their countries to the Kingdom,” the statement added.
The embassy said that this procedure was not limited to Nigerian citizens only, but rather to citizens of other countries.
The statement comes after Saudi Arabian authorities cancelled the visas of 264 passengers airlifted by Nigeria’s Air Peace on arrival in Jeddah from Kano, insisting that the airline should return to Nigeria.
Out of the 264 passengers, only 87 were allegedly cleared by Saudi Arabian authorities after intervention by Nigerian embassy officials.
The flight took off from the Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Lagos, via the Aminu Kano International Airport, Kano, on Sunday night and arrived in Saudi Arabia’s major city on Monday without issues, but on landing, Saudi Arabian authorities announced that all passengers’ visas were cancelled.