Authorities in Singapore and Indonesia have continued to wage serious war against any form of drug trafficking in both countries. Hundreds of persons have been convicted and executed in the two countries, mostly by firing squad and hanging.
Meanwhile, the execution of drug traffickers in these countries have continued to attract global condemnations. Therefore, we shall take a look at some of the notable cases involving Nigerians who have been convicted and executed for drug trafficking in both countries over the years.
Chijioke Obioha Stephen:
Chijioke Obioha, a graduate of Chemistry from the University of Benin, Edo State, travelled to Singapore in 2005 to pursue a professional football career, but was unable to secure a club afterwards, according to Guardian newspaper.
He ventured into drug trafficking business, and was eventually arrested in 2007 after he was found in possession of more than 2.6kg of cannabis. The quantity reportedly surpassed the 500 grammes capital limit in that country. He was arrested alongside a Malaysian national, named Devendran Supramaniam.
Obioha and Devendran were found guilty and sentenced to death in 2008 and 2014, respectively. Meanwhile, ICIR reported that there were several appeals from different quarters across the world, for the death sentence to be replaced with some other punishment, but all were rejected. Also, an appeal lodged by Obioha was dismissed in 2010, and even a petition filed by the Nigerian Government through its high commission in Singapore could not change the situation.
Sadly, he was eventually executed by hanging, at the Changi Prison, in the early hours of November 18, 2016, after the country’s Appeal Court threw out an urgent Criminal motion instituted by Obioha’s lawyer, Mr. Joseph Chen, according to Vanguard newspapers.
Iwuchukwu Amara Tochi:
Iwuchukwu Amara Tochi was arrested on November 2, 2004, in Changi Airport, Singapore while in transit. Tochi was reportedly just 18-years old when he was arrested.
Guardian newspaper reported that his arrest was as a result of his suspicious movement at the aforementioned airport; that he had spent about 24 hours in transit. Following his arrest, about one hundred capsules of diamorphine were found on him, with a total weight of 727.02 grammes. The substance was estimated by authorities to be worth S$1.5m (US$970,000), reports International Centre for Investigative Reporting.
(Photo credit: The eight foreigners executed in Indonesia in 2015 for drug trafficking. Photo credit: Sahara Reporters)
Meanwhile, it was equally gathered that his lawyer during the trial claimed that Tochi was only trying to pursue a professional career in football, and was just in possession of some African herbs for a certain sick African man, later identified as Okeke Nelson Malachy, and not diamorphine as alleged by the authorities.
Unfortunately, Tochi and Malachy were eventually found guilty of drug trafficking and subsequently sentenced to death. They were executed by hanging in Singapore in 2007.
Tochi’s execution came amid pleas for clemency from different quarters, including from the then Nigerian President, Olusegun Obasanjo, United Nations, Amnesty International, etc.Tochi’s death sparked global outrage against the country (Singapore), according to a report by the International Centre for Investigative Reporting (ICIR).
He was reportedly arrested in 2001 at the popular Jakarta’s international airport, Indonesia. According to Sahara Reporters, Oyatanze was arrested while trying to smuggle 5.5 pounds of heroin in his stomach through the aforementioned airport, after arriving on a flight from Pakistan.
He was subsequently convicted and sentenced to death in 2008. While he was held behind bars pending his execution, ICIR reported that he wrote and recorded about 70 songs, which he equally performed with Prisons guards and his fellow inmates.
Meanwhile, Sahara Reporters reported that he was executed in April 2015.
He was arrested in July 2002 following a raid on his apartment in Kelapa Gading, North Jakarta, Indonesia, by police operatives and the country’s narcotic agency. Meanwhile, about 48kg of heroin was found in his house during the sting operation, according to International Centre for Investigative Reporting.
The report further revealed that Ezimoha was allegedly into the importation of clothing materials. He was tried by the Tangerang District Court, and eventually convicted in October 2003. He was among the eight foreigners executed in the country in 2015.
Sylvester Obiekwe Nwolise:
The 49 year old Nwolise was arrested in Sukarno-Hatta International Airport in Jakarta in 2002, while trafficking about 1.18 kilos of heroin through the said airport. In September 2004, a court sitting in Tangerang sentenced him and others to death, according to Premium Times Nigeria.
It was also reported that in 2015, he was accused by the Indonesian National Narcotics Body of running drugs ring in the Nusakambangan jail, where he was being held after his conviction, pending his execution.
The court found him guilty of trafficking 2.6lb of heroin via Sukarno Hatta Airport in Jakarta in 2002. Though he continued to appeal the judgment through his legal team, until he was finally executed in 2015.