On Wednesday, the Embassy of Saudi Arabia disclosed the cancellation of visas for 177 Air Peace passengers from Nigeria upon their arrival in Jeddah, citing violations of the country’s entry rules.
The Federal Government, acting on reports from the Nigerian Consulate in Jeddah, revealed that Air Peace Flight No. P4-752 transported 264 passengers from the Murtala Mohammed International Airport in Lagos and the Aminu Kano International Airport. The flight landed at the King Abdulaziz International Airport – Hajj Terminal Jeddah, Saudi Arabia on Monday, November 23, 2023.
Upon arrival at the Hajj Terminal, Saudi Immigration authorities informed the passengers that their visas had been canceled. Subsequently, 177 passengers were returned to Nigeria on the same flight, while 87 passengers were cleared by Saudi immigration and granted entry into Jeddah.
In defense of the decision, the Saudi Embassy in Abuja stated on Wednesday, asserting that the deported Nigerians had provided incorrect information to obtain a visa category that did not apply to them. The embassy clarified, stating, “The passengers, who were denied entry and subsequently deported to their initial destinations, did not fulfill the entry conditions and requirements following 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.”
Emphasizing the importance of adhering to procedures and laws enacted by the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia for all visitors, the embassy advised passengers to review all documents to ensure conformity with conditions before departing from their countries to the Kingdom. The embassy further clarified that this procedure was not exclusive to Nigerian citizens but applied to citizens of other countries as well.