The Royal Embassy of Saudi Arabia in Abuja has shed light on the recent deportation of Nigerian passengers, emphasizing that they failed to meet the entry conditions into the kingdom.
Last week, Saudi Arabian Authorities nullified the visas of 264 passengers transported from Lagos and Kano to Jeddah by Air Peace. Initially instructing the return of all passengers, they later permitted 87 individuals to stay.
During check-in at Nigeria, passengers underwent the Advanced Passengers Information System (APIS), a process monitored by Saudi authorities.
In response to media reports and social media speculations, the Saudi Embassy clarified that those denied entry and subsequently deported had provided inaccurate information to obtain a visa category unsuitable for them, a discovery made upon arrival.
The Embassy underscored the significance of adhering to the Kingdom’s rules and regulations for all visitors, urging passengers to scrutinize their documents for compliance before departing for Saudi Arabia. This scrutiny, they noted, applied not only to Nigerians but to citizens of other nations as well.
The Nigerian government swiftly responded, pledging to investigate the visa cancellations affecting all 264 passengers. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs expressed its commitment to examining whether consular or aviation rules were violated.
The flight, originating from Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Lagos, via Mallam Aminu Kano International Airport, Kano, landed at King Abdul-Aziz International Airport, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, on Sunday night. To the airline’s dismay, Saudi authorities announced the cancellation of all passengers’ visas.