The Royal Embassy of Saudi Arabia in Abuja has disclosed the reasons behind the cancellation of all the 264 Nigerians airlifted by Nigeria’s major carrier, Air Peace, to the country.
It should be recalled that the visa of the travellers were cancelled by the Saudi Arabian government on arrival at the country from Kano State.
It was gathered that the flight took off from the Murtala Muhammed International Airport in Lagos via the Aminu Kano International Airport in Kano on Sunday night and arrived Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, on Monday without issues.
On landing, the Saudi Arabia authorities announced that all the passengers’ visas were cancelled and insisted that Air Peace return them to Nigeria.
Speaking on the development via a statement on Wednesday, the Saudi embassy said the travellers’ visas were cancelled because they did not fulfil the entry conditions of the country.
The embassy added that the applicable rules and regulations of Saudi Arabia were not met, saying the Air Peace passengers submitted incorrect information.
The statement read: “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 whom were denied entry, and subsequently deported to their initial destinations, didn’t 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 doesn’t apply to them, which was discovered upon their arrival.
“The Royal Embassy would like to stress 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 departing from their countries to the Kingdom.
”This procedure was not limited to Nigerian citizens only, but rather to citizens of other countries.”