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Singapore executes Nigerian footballer for ‘drug trafficking’

Singapore executes Nigerian footballer for ‘drug trafficking’
November 18
12:19 2016

Chijioke Obioha, a 38-year-old Nigerian, who went to Singapore for football trial in 2005, has been executed for alleged drug trafficking.

He was killed alongside Devendran Supramaniam, a 31-year-old Malaysian.

The Central Narcotics Bureau (CNB) said both men were hanged at a prison complex.

The agency said when Obioha was arrested in April 2007, 14 blocks of vegetable matter were found in the bag he had with him.

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The anti-narcotic officers were said to have escorted him to his rented flat, where another 14 blocks were reportedly found in various bags.

Obioha was convicted of trafficking 2,604.56g of cannabis and sentenced to death on December 30, 2008.

The Misuse of Drugs Act (MDA) of Singapore provides for the death penalty if the amount of cannabis trafficked is 500g or more.

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After his appeal against conviction and sentence was dismissed by the court of appeal in 2010, Obioha elected to be considered for re-sentencing in May 2015, under the new death penalty regime that came into effect at the start of 2013.

He subsequently withdrew his re-sentencing application in April.

His counsel filed a criminal motion in court for a stay of execution and to commute his death sentence to life imprisonment on Wednesday (November 16), which was heard and dismissed the following day.

His petition to the president for clemency was also turned down.

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The Amnesty International had called on Singapore to immediately halt the execution.

“The Singapore government still has time to halt the execution of Chijoke Stephen Obioha. We are dismayed that clemency has not been granted in his case, but remain hopeful that they won’t carry out this cruel and irreversible punishment against a person sentenced to the mandatory death penalty for a crime that should not even be punished by death,” Rafendi Djamin, Amnesty International’s Director for South-East Asia and the Pacific, had said.

“The death penalty is never the solution. It will not rid Singapore of drugs. By executing people for drug-related offences, which do not meet the threshold of most serious crimes, Singapore is violating international law.

Abike Dabiri-Erewa, senior special assistant to the president on foreign affairs and diaspora, had described the death sentence as heartbreaking, appealing to Nigerians to desist from criminal activities like drug peddling.

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“While we regret the death sentence passed on the Nigerian, we once again appeal to Nigerians to avoid crimes like drug trafficking with most countries especially in Asia declaring zero tolerance for drug trafficking,” she said in a statement.

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1 Comment

  1. paschalpas
    paschalpas November 18, 19:10

    It is very unfortunate. Nigerians please desist from drug

    Reply to this comment

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