Nigeria: 40 Anambra indigenes on death row in Indonesia – they need your help
“Around 2010, the then Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mr. Ojo Maduekwe, led a Nigerian delegation that included representatives of the House, the Senate, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Nigeria Drug Law Enforcement Agency, etc, to Indonesian prisons. We met 21 Nigerian condemned prisoners, out of which 19 were from Anambra State”. – PUNCH
I am pleased with the ongoing exchange to unravel the source of the dead bodies found in an Anambra State river. I am hoping to tap on that energy to start a debate on the fate of the Nigerians on death row in Indonesia. The article below claims that there are now 48 Nigerians on death row. Going by the 2010 stats, Anambra should account for at least 40 of those 48.
It is good to investigate the source of the dead bodies found floating in an Anambra river. It is even better to try save the lives of 40 misguided young Anambrans now on death row in Indonesia. The type of small drug trafficking by Nigerians should attract no more than 2-5 years of prison for a first offender. Our government should be able to negotiate with Indonesia to repatriate the drug traffickers back to Nigeria to serve time. According to the article, President Jonathan has already pleaded for a stay of execution. However, we need to keep the pressure on the federal government to do more to ensure that the boys are eventually repatriated back home.
On the creative ethnic header, I make no apology. Nigerians generally don’t care unless it concerns their ethnic group. We deploy ethnicity to commit atrocities or avoid punishment for crime on a routine basis. For a change, I have no problem to ethnicize a Nigerian problem to a good end.
Please read the rest of the article below:
48 Nigerians remain on Indonesia death row – PUNCH
There are indications that respite may not come the way of 48 Nigerians reportedly on death row for drug-related offences in Indonesia soon. Nigeria has yet to take official steps to ensure their rescue.
Drug and corruption related offences attract capital punishment in Asian countries like Indonesia, Malaysia and Thailand.
President Goodluck Jonathan had on February 2, 2013 requested a stay of execution in respect of Nigerians on death row in the Asian country when President Susilo Yudhoyono came on a two-day visit to Nigeria. The visitor however did not give his word on the President’s request.
Speaking to our correspondent, the Chairman, Committee on Diaspora Affairs of the House of Representatives, Mrs. Abike Dabiri-Erewa, said the Federal Government could do more to save the lives of Nigerians on death row, not just in Indonesia but across the world.
She noted that 25 international treaties on human rights and related matters were still waiting for domestication. She said Brazil made a request for bilateral agreement on suspects and criminals with Nigeria but the latter had yet to respond.
Dabiri-Erewa said, “Around 2010, the then Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mr. Ojo Maduekwe, led a Nigerian delegation that included representatives of the House, the Senate, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Nigeria Drug Law Enforcement Agency, etc, to Indonesian prisons. We met 21 Nigerian condemned prisoners, out of which 19 were from Anambra State.
“The Indonesian government made us to understand that the law of their land states that drug-related offences attract death penalty. They however agreed to stay execution, which is why the Nigerians have not been executed till today. What if the Indonesian President did not come, it means nothing would have been heard or done about them.”
The lawmaker decried Nigeria’s failure to enter into an agreement with other countries on extradition and exchange of prisoners. She said the Federal Government should have done a continuous follow-up, after the delegation secured the stay of execution in Indonesia.
“There is little to be done now until Nigeria signs an official agreement with the country. The committee is working with the House Committee on Treaties to see that the Attorney-General of the Federation is compelled to ensure that the abandoned 25 treaties are domesticated,” she said.
However, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, while denying knowledge of the planned execution, said there were no moves to exchange prisoners with the Asian country yet.
The spokesman of the ministry, Mr. Ogbole Ode, who spoke to our correspondent on the telephone on Friday, said there must be an agreement between the two countries before prisoners could be exchanged.
“I am just hearing this (the impending execution); I am not aware. The President of Indonesia has just left Nigeria. What, again, I do not know is whether there was a prisoner exchange agreement between Nigeria and Indonesia. You know, you don’t exchange prisoners just like that; there must be an agreement to provide the legal umbrella for such exchange between two nations.
“I am not aware of a prisoner exchange. Our ambassador was around during the state visit by the Indonesian President. I will speak with him if his Nigerian number is still functioning and I’ll find out and get back to you.”
The 21 Nigerians were condemned to death by Indonesian courts in 2008 for various criminal offences, including drug peddling. Same year, four were sentenced to life imprisonment and eight others to various jail terms ranging from 11 to 18 years.
Out of the 21 on death row, Samuel Okoye and Hassan Nwaolisa were executed on June 28, 2008, while Augustine Ogbonna died in custody in September 2008 under mysterious circumstances.