Singapore executes Nigerian after last-minute appeal by Amnesty was rejected

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SINGAPORE: A 38-year-old Nigerian was executed on Friday (Nov 18) at Changi Prison after his eleventh-hour appeal was rejected by the apex court.

Chijioke Stephen Obioha was convicted of trafficking in 2.6kg of cannabis – more than five times the capital limit of 500g – and sentenced to death in 2008.

 He appealed against his conviction and sentence, but it was dismissed by the Court of Appeal in 2010. After death penalty laws were amended in 2013, Obioha was asked if he wanted to be considered for resentencing but declined, the Central Narcotics Bureau (CNB) said.

But before he was scheduled to hang in May this year, Obioha changed his mind and decided he wanted to submit new evidence and be considered for resentencing. The Court of Appeal rejected his request but ordered a stay of execution to allow him time to file an application for resentencing.

However, Obioha withdrew his resentencing application three months later. The court subsequently lifted the stay of execution.

On Wednesday, two days before his execution, Obioha again submitted an appeal for a stay of execution and to commute his death sentence to life imprisonment. The appeal was heard and dismissed by the court on Thursday.

The CNB said in a news release on Friday that Obioha “had been accorded full due process under the law”. Two petitions to the President for clemency filed by him and by the High Commission of Nigeria had also been turned down, the CNB said.

Another convicted drug trafficker was also executed on Friday after his eleventh-hour appeal was dismissed by the court.

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Malaysian Devendran Supramaniam, 31, was convicted of importing 83.36g of diamorphine into Singapore – more than five times the capital limit of 15g – and sentenced to death in 2014.

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