24 Jan 2007

Obasanjo urges Singapore not to hang Nigerian man

Wed Jan 24, 2007 8:36 AM GMT

ABUJA (Reuters) - Nigerian President Olusegun Obasanjo asked Singapore's government on Tuesday to grant repreive to a 21-year-old Nigerian man due to be executed for drug smuggling.

Iwuchukwu Amara Tochi was arrested at Singapore's Changi airport in November 2004 with 727 grammes of heroin. He is due to be executed on Friday after his appeal to Singapore's president for clemency failed last year.

"It is for the reason of obtaining your kind pardon and clemency for the convicted Nigerian that I write this letter to you ... to earnestly urge you to reconsider the conviction of the Singaporean Court of Appeal and to commute the death sentence to imprisonment," Obasanjo said in a letter to Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong.

Obasanjo's appeal came after Saudi Arabia executed a Nigerian man in December for smuggling cocaine into the conservative Muslim kingdom.

Human rights group Amnesty International has also called for clemency for Tochi, saying the judge who convicted the Nigerian "appears to have accepted that he (Tochi) might not have realised that the substance he was carrying was heroin."

The drugs were estimated by the authorities to have a street value of $970,000.

The drug laws of the island nation of 4.4 million people are among the harshest in the world. The death penalty is mandatory for anyone caught with more than 15 grammes of heroin.

Government officials say the location of the city-state close to drug-producing countries forces it to take a tough stance on smuggling.


Matilah_Singapura said...


A head of state actually giving a damn about *one* citizen?


Anonymous said...

i remember Clinton made a plea for Michael Fay, and 6 was reduced to 4 strokes.

But Nigeria dont really have the same "negotiation power" as the US, does it?


Capt_Canuck said...

I dont think Nigeria has the same negotiation power as other larger countries. Germany made the same bid and had Julia Bohl death sentence reduced to years, and she got out on good behavior.

I guess it isnt just simple company hiring that the saying "it isnt who you know, but who you blow" has certain merit, huh?

Anonymous said...

Under development

Anonymous said...

"might not have realised that the substance he was carrying was heroin"...727 grams! oh please!!! That is the same tired old excuse from most of the persons caught. Michael Fay...he should have received 10 strokes!

Anonymous said...

what the freak. are u some maniac who believes that guilty til proven innocent is right?

michael fay was guilty. BUT EVEN THE JUDGE ADMITTED THAT!

oh but blood always makes the newspapers sell more right?

Anonymous said...

anon 10.27 pm

Similarily, our dear PM and his wife were taken in to buy Shin Corp shares. Do you think these intelligent elites were also ignorant of the laws of Thailand?
Weren't it also an excuse if they said they are ignorant of Thai law?

Anonymous said...

The sad truth of the matter is that the mandatory death penalty prevents many in Singapore from informing authorities about the "big boys"whose
wealth and influence is quite well known.After all, if you eat from a relative's rice bowl how can you see him hang.So the harsh sentence keeps "our little secret" safe.Get it now?