16 Nigerians sentenced to death for drug trafficking in Indonesia may eventually have to face the hangman’s noose as the Senate in their home country, Nigeria, has said it can do nothing to intervene in their plight.
Over 300 Nigerians are said to be serving various jail terms in Indonesian prisons for peddling hard drugs while 16 of them are on death row.
During a sitting of the senate yesterday, Senator Mathew Nwagwu, who chairs the Senate Committee on Foreign Affairs, raised a motion concerning the plight of the Nigerians.
He had argued that the persons numbering 16, were languishing in Indonesian jails, and called for an intervention of the government to either reduce or review the cases against them.
He said, “I have called Minister of Foreign Affairs and he assured me that he will get in touch with our mission in Jakarta, although he was of the opinion that most of the issues related to drug related offences. I wish to suggest that we invite the Minister of Foreign Affairs to address the Senate on what is happening and what can be done to reduce and review some of these cases.”
However in response, the Senate President, David Mark dismissed the motion saying there was little or nothing the government could do to save them, since their actions were in complete violation of the laws of Indonesia.
Mark said the prisoners had themselves to blame because they knew the consequences of trafficking in drugs, yet went ahead to commit the crimes.
“Unfortunately in the Sixth Senate we took up this matter and we sent a delegation to Indonesia. I think it was Uche Chukwumerije who raised the issue; to Indonesia, Singapore and China and they brought a report back that all the people on death row were people who had gone for trafficking in drugs. And they had exhausted all the legal system possible,” he said.
The laws of Indonesia clearly state that the penalty for drug trafficking in some stipulated quantities is death. The same goes for countries like Saudi Arabia, Singapore and China. According to China’s criminal law, trafficking of more than 50 grams of heroin can warrant the death penalty. Malaysia, Iran and the United Arab Emirates also have strict punishments for drug trafficking, sometimes resulting in death penalty. Hundreds of Nigerians are languishing in prisons either awaiting execution or serving life jail sentences in such countries.
These people went against the laws of those countries and must be made to face the punishment for their offences. However, what is sad is that they wouldn’t have been sentenced to death if they had committed similar offences in their home country as the death sentence is not passed for drug related offences in Nigeria.
Although Nigeria is one of the 58 countries still practicing the death penalty, it does not sentence people to death for drug trafficking. Civil rights groups and non-governmental organizations have not relented in their call for the abolition of the death penalty in countries that still practice it.
So, are you of the opinion that these people should be sentenced to death for their offences?
Do you think the Senate could have done more for these Nigerians sentenced to death in Indonesia?
Please share your thoughts.
News Source: Punch News