31 Aug 2006

Nigerian footballer sentenced to death in Singapore

August 31, 2006.

By AND West Africa

The House of Representatives today agreed not to interfere in the plight of Nigerian footballer Amara Iwuchukwu sentenced to death in Singapore for carrying a prohibited drug,the Nigerian News Agency said.

NAN said Iwuchukwu,19, was arrested at Changi Airport in Singapore on Nov. 27, 2004 for allegedly being in possession of a substance suspected to be heroin.

The footballer was consequently sentenced to death by a Singapore High Court and his sentence was later confirmed by an appeal court. The Deputy Chairman of the House Committee on Human Rights, Rep Abdul Oroh, had earlier moved a motion, pleading to the House to intervene in the matter.

Oroh said that he was particularly disturbed by the refusal of the president of Singapore to grant clemency to the convict.

He noted that the refusal meant that Iwuchukwu would soon be executed by
hanging, adding that Singapore was reputed to have the highest rate of executions in the world.

He urged the House to persuade President Olusegun Obasanjo to plead with his Singaporean counterpart to grant Iwuchukwu clemency on the ground that he was just 18 years old when he was arrested and for being a first offender.

Oroh also wanted the parliament of Singapore and the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association (CPA) to plead with the president of Singapore to grant amnesty the footballer.

Those who contributed to the motion, including Reps Tam Brisbe, Lola Abiola-Edewor, Tongu Tsegbe and Obenten Obenten, however, kicked against the motion.

They all argued that the footballer had tarnished Nigeria's image by indulging in criminal activities and should be left to face the music.

NAN reports that when the Speaker, Alhaji Aminu Masari, called for a voice vote, a clear majority of the legislators voted against the motion.

No comments: