The federal government has disclosed that the visas of 18 of the 177 passengers travelling from Nigeria were cancelled by the Saudi Arabian Authorities because of the various offences they committed in the past.
On Monday, November 13, an Air Peace Flight No. P4-752 airlifted 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.
But on arrival at the Hajj terminal, the Saudi Immigration authorities informed the passengers that their visas had been cancelled. Consequently, 177 passengers were made to return on the same flight back to Nigeria, while 87 passengers were cleared by immigration and allowed entry into Jeddah.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs, in a statement by Francisca Omayuli its spokesperson on Tuesday, called for calm, while informing that Saudi Arabia is currently investigating the matter.
The ministry, however, said the Saudi authorities are yet to give reasons for the cancellation of the visas of other passengers.
“18 of the passengers who were outrightly banned from Saudi Arabia for various offences committed in the past”, the statement read.
“The Saudi authorities are yet to give reasons for the cancellation of the visas, except for 18 of the passengers who were outrightly banned from Saudi Arabia for various offences committed in the past.”
“Even though it is the prerogative of a sovereign nation to determine who is permitted entry into its territory, Nigeria and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia are traditional and strategic partners, who are willing to guard against a recurrence of this unfortunate incident.
“In this regard, investigation is ongoing in both Nigeria and Saudi Arabia. The affected passengers are, therefore, implored to keep calm, while the matter is being resolved”, it added.