A former Chairman Senate Committee on Culture and Tourism, Senator Hassan Barata, is reportedly cooling his heels in detention in Saudi Arabia. The Nation newspaper reports that the senator, when he was arrested and quizzed, claimed to be an employee of the Nigerian Embassy – a claim that was found to be false.
Mr. Barata, who is believed to have travelled to the Kingdom a few weeks ago, may have been arrested following the expiration of his visa.
Barata represented Adamawa South in the sixth Senate, having been elected in 2011 on the ticket of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) but defected to the All Progressives Congress (APC) last February.
However, following his failed bid to pick the APC governorship ticket, he returned to the PDP.
It was believed that the former senator was holding an official passport on the trip.
Sen. Barata’s ordeal is coming on the heels of the Federal Government’s directive to the Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS) to retrieve diplomatic and official passports from all persons who are not entitled to hold such documents.
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