The Nigerian passengers were deported at the point of entry in Saudi Arabia on Sunday.
The Saudi Arabian Embassy in Nigeria has said that travellers recently deported at the point of entry did not meet the entry conditions and requirements of its country.
A statement by the embassy said that passengers denied entry, and subsequently deported to their initial destinations, submitted incorrect information to obtain categories of visa they did not qualify for.
“The discovery was made on their arrival.
“The 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 documents to determine their conformity with the conditions prior to departing from their countries to the Kingdom.
“This procedure was not limited to Nigerian citizens only; citizens of other countries were involved,” it said.
It was not immediately why the passengers, most of whom were visiting Saudi for Lesser Hajj, were denied entry.
Daily Trust reported that the flight took off from the Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Lagos via the Mallam Aminu Kano International Airport, Kano on Sunday night and landed at King Abdul-Aziz International Airport, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia.
“But to the consternation of the airline staff, the Saudi Arabian authorities announced that all the passengers’ visas had been cancelled.”
The incident occured barely one week after Air Peace launched a direct flight to Saudi Arabia.
It was gathered that it was when the Nigerian embassy waded in that Saudi authorities reduced the number of passengers that would be returned to 177 from 264.
Daily Trust reported that before the commencement of direct flights by Air Peace, Saudia, a Saudi Arabian flag carrier, had been operating directly from Nigeria to Saudi Arabia.
The incident occurred at a time President Bola Tinubu was in Saudi Arabia.
President Tinubu was, at the time, attending the Saudi-Africa summit in Riyadh to attract foreign direct investment to Africa’s largest economy and mobilise capital to build needed infrastructure.
At the summit, Mr Tinubu said Nigeria and Saudi Arabia have always enjoyed a special relationship at both the bilateral and multilateral levels