Funmilayo Rufai, a Nigerian living and working in Al Ain in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), has been released from detention after she was held by the country’s police despite being sick.
Bunmi, Funmilayo’s sister, confirmed this development to FIJ on Monday.
On October 10, Police in Al Ain had detained Funmilayo, who worked for the International Grand Mart, ‘after she sought medical help while at work’.
For close to two months, the Nigerian remained in detention despite being ill.
“I’m super excited, her friend just chatted me some minutes ago and told me that Funmilayo has been released. Her friend gave me the phone number of their neighbour to speak with her,” Bunmi told FIJ.
“Before her release, Funmilayo had done a Zoom meeting with a judge, during which the judge asked her to explain why the police took her into custody. They also asked her what she wanted to do afterwards.
“Funmilayo told the virtual court that she wanted to be released from police custody. She also told them that she wished not to work with International Grand Mart anymore.
“The stress she went through, and her subsequent hospitalisation, was a consequence of her workload. She doesn’t get enough rest and enough sleep. They released her afterwards and gave her all of her belongings kept at the hospital.”
FIJ had reported how the Nigerian Embassy in the UAE had dragged its feet to help Funmilayo after she was detained by the police.
Bunmi also told FIJ that neither the Nigerian Embassy nor the Ministry of Foreign Affairs were involved in Funmilayo’s release.
“The embassy was not involved; they left it as a police case within the country,” she said.
“They said that there was nothing more they could do. My sister’s case was made public by my friend’s social media and your paper (FIJ). For this, I say thank you.”
Be the first to receive special investigative reports and features in your inbox.