– Chijioke Stephen Obioha was executed after a last minute call for clemency was rejected
– The country has a strong stance against drug-related crimes The Singaporean government has executed Chijioke Stephen Obioha for drug trafficking in the early hours of Friday, November 18.
Also executed was 31-year-old Malaysian, Devendran A/L Supramaniam after the country rejected a last-minute call for clemency. Obioha was found in possession of 2,604.56g of cannabis, surpassing the statutory amount of 500 grams that under Singapore law triggers the automatic presumption of trafficking in 2007.
It was reported that he had been in Singapore since 2005 to try out for a football club but was arrested by anti-narcotics officers. Obioha, a graduate of industrial chemistry from the University of Benin in Nigeria, was also found to possess keys to a room containing additional prohibited substances and this led the authorities to presume him guilty of possession and knowledge of the drugs.
Amnesty International had called for clemency citing that his offence did not fall under the category of most-serious crime but this was turned down by Singapore which is notorious for using the death sentence to punish drug-offenders. His counsel filed a criminal motion in court for a stay of execution and to commute his death sentence to life imprisonment on Wednesday Nov 16 but it was dismissed on Thursday and his parents were duly informed of the execution.
Amnesty International wrote: “After the rejection of his clemency appeal in April 2015, his execution was set for May 15, 2015. It was stayed a day earlier to allow him apply for resentencing. “His family were only informed on October 25, 2016 that he had resolved to withdraw his application for resentencing earlier in the year, following legal advice that he would not qualify as “courier” under the amended laws.
“Consequently, the Court of Appeal lifted the stay of execution with effect from October 24, resulting in the execution date to be set for November 18.
“Chijioke Stephen Obioha graduated in Industrial Chemistry from Benin University in Nigeria. He moved to Singapore in 2005, seeking to join a football club. His family members, who currently live in Nigeria and the United Kingdom, have been unable to travel to visit and had limited ability to assist him.
“Throughout the duration of the proceedings, they have received sporadic and often delayed updates, including when a legal representative was removed from the case.” The Roman catholic prison ministry claimed the body of Chijioke following the execution.