Friday, 1 September 2006

Nigeria won't act to save man in Singapore

Nigeria's parliament has refused to intervene in the case of a 19 year old man who may soon be hanged for heroin trafficking in Singapore.

Iwuchukwu Amara Tochi, from Nigeria, was arrested at Changi Airport on 27 November 2004 allegedly in possession of heroin. He was sentenced to death along with Okele Nelson Malachy, 33, whose nationality cannot be confirmed.

AND West Africa news agency reports that Rep Abdul Oroh, Deputy Chairman of the House Committee on Human Rights, moved a motion calling on the parliament to intervene in the case.

According to the AND West Africa report, Abdul Oroh urged the parliament to persuade President Olusegun Obasanjo to make a personal appeal for clemency to his Singaporean counterpart.

He said Iwuchukwu should be spared on the grounds that he was only 18 years old when he was arrested and this was his first offence.

Speakers against the motion argued that he had damaged Nigeria's image and should face the consequences of his crime.

The motion was defeated when a majority of parliamentary members voiced their opposition.

Amnesty International is continuing to campaign for clemency for the two men, and encouraging people to take part in its letter-writing action.

Australian citizen Van Tuong Nguyen was executed in Singapore on 2 December 2005, despite repeated appeals for clemency from the Australian government.

Related story:
Singapore forum against death penalty

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