Indonesian court rejects fresh challenge against execution of Nigerian

An Indonesian court has dismissed a legal challenge by a 42-years old Nigerian, Raheem Agbaje-Salami, who is on a death row for drug peddling

President Joko Widodo has rejected clemency representations from Nigerian authorities.

Judge Hendro Puspito of the Administrative Court in East Jakarta said on Monday that the court had no jurisdiction over presidential decisions.

Agbaje-Salami, alias Jamiu Owolabi Abashin from the southern Spanish city of Cordova, was arrested in 1998 for smuggling 5.3 kg of heroin into Surabaya, the capital of East Java province.

He was taken on Wednesday from a prison in East Java to a prison island off the southern coast of Java where he was due to be executed later this month with up to nine other death-row inmates.

Salami, along with nine other drug traffickers from Australia, French, Brazil, Ghana and Indonesia, are expected to be executed soon in Nusakambangan island of Central Java.

President Widodo remained tough on the death penalty amid intensive efforts for clemency from Australia, French and Brazil.

Two other Nigerian drug traffickers are also scheduled to be executed this month after requests for presidential clemency were rejected.

Meanwhile, the Nigerian government on Monday, again summoned the Indonesian Ambassador, Harry Purwato, over the country’s planned execution of more Nigerians by firing squad for drug-related offences.

Danjuma Sheni, the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, said at a meeting with the envoy in Abuja that the death sentences should be converted to life imprisonment.

He told the envoy to speak with his home government to tamper justice with mercy in order not to allow anything to jeopardise the “very robust and excellent relationship“ between Indonesia and Nigeria.

“We, in this context, are very aware of the consequences of drug trafficking in your country, but we still want to put it on record and we still want to appeal to you and to your President to tamper justice with mercy.

“We understand that the three condemned Nigerians have gone through the judicial processes and their appeals to the President have been turned down.

“We also understand, particularly, that one of them, Mr. Salami, had been moved to an Island and that any moment from now, he may be executed.

“We want to appeal to you and through you to your government that this death sentence that may be carried out on Mr Salami any moment from now should be converted to life imprisonment.“

The permanent secretary also appealed to the Indonesian envoy to fast-track the completion of the ongoing exchange of prisoners’ negotiation between the two countries.

According to him, when completed, Nigerians serving various prison terms in Indonesia will have the opportunity to serve their sentences in Nigeria.

Responding, Purwato acknowledged the robust nature of the relationship between his country and Nigeria, and explained that the trial of the Nigerians was done transparently.

He said foreigners travelling to Indonesia were usually informed in advance that trafficking in narcotics attracted the death penalty.

The envoy said that all the legal processes available to the convicts had been exhausted, adding, however, that he would deliver the Federal Government’s message to his home government.

He said: “Indonesians attach great importance to their relations with Nigerians and we also like to further our excellent relations in things that can be felt directly by the people of these two countries.

“As you rightly said, permanent secretary, the death penalty in Indonesia is actually done in transparent, credible and accountable manner.

“We do apply these executions to those who are adults and we do not apply to children, pregnant women or mentally ill persons.

“Executions are done after strict and transparent due process of law by which also we know that it would have already passed the district, appellate and Supreme Courts. “

Purwato explained that the request for clemency by the Nigerians on death row had been rejected.

According to him, the Indonesian government usually allows the embassies of nationals on trial for drug-related offenses to be involved from the beginning to the end of all cases.

The Nigerian Government had in January, summoned the ambassador following the execution of two Nigerians by firing squad for drug offences.

(NAN)


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  • Omooba Adekunle Orafidiya

    This is incredibly responsible and caring of the government of Nigeria. It is indeed very commendable. However, our citizens ought to be conscious of the punishment that goes with drug trafficking in Indonesia and most parts of Asia. We Nigerians are fond of breaking laws wherever we go. While I feel sorry for the condemned Nigerians, Indonesia is certain not to bulge and will, rather unfortunately, execute these our brothers. And, the Indonesian government cannot be blamed if it carries out the executions, because laws are made to suit each sovereign State. I’m afraid this appeal, humane as it is by the Nigerian government, will fall on deaf ears. May the Lord have mercy on the souls of those our brothers who are about to be sent to their early graves.

    • Chuks Igwe

      If “an Indonesian court has dismissed a legal challenge by a 42-years old
      Nigerian, Raheem Agbaje-Salami, who is on a death row for drug peddling”
      .
      And if
      President Joko Widodo has rejected clemency representations from
      Nigerian authorities
      ; may the soul of Raheem Agbaje-Salami rest in perfect
      peace, abi, weytin remain?

      • Omooba Adekunle Orafidiya

        I agree with you, Sir. Note also that one Silvester Obiekwe Nwolise is also on death row for the same offence; in the same country. That version of the story is in Vanguard.

  • David Abiodun

    “As you rightly said, permanent secretary, the death penalty in Indonesia is actually done in transparent, credible and accountable manner.
    “We do apply these executions to those who are adults and we do not apply to children, pregnant women or mentally ill persons.
    “Executions are done after strict and transparent due process of law by which also we know that it would have already passed the district, appellate and Supreme Courts. “

    The severity of an offense should determine the weight of law but a country or society that uphold cold blooded murder, no matter how transparent, credible, and accountable the process is, is still primitive and barbaric. A cold blooded murder in my opinion is a murder that is not morally justifiable. Moreover, who was that process transparent, credible and accountable to? The same Indonesian government that want them killed? What a load of bull! This primitive and barbaric people have no place in human future.

    I have always advocated that a death penalty should be streamline to just one offense: PREMEDITATED MURDER. But even a premeditated murder by a lunatic does not deserve a death penalty. Manslaughter does not even warrant such penalty. Drug trafficking that causes loss of lives to its users should be treated as manslaughter as the intention is to make a financial gain not to murder anyone. What is the moral justification of a death penalty? Premeditated Murder in my opinion.

    Life in prison with hard labour is justice for offenses such as drug trafficking and manslaughter!!

    • El-batuta

      One man’s meat is another man’s poison. You don’t expect the entire world to be the same. Cultures differ and so do values. The convicts should had heeded the warnings.

  • stella

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  • Lemmuel Odjay

    When Buhari began punishing drug barons, he was accused by a group led by the gap-toothed evil genius for been high handed and brutal. He was subsequently relieved of his duties as president, and we know the reasons why. I remember my visit on that morning to one of the embassies at Ikoyi on the invitation of their Commercial Counsellor. Buhari’s government had just been overthrown in a palace coup, There were groups of people in the streets on Awolowo Road, Kingsway (now Rewane) Road all in Ikoyi. They were chanting their redemption songs and clutching leaves as they danced on in ragged fashion in the streets. Mr Commercial Counsellor asked this of me: “why are they singing when they should be mourning? This new one is worse than his predecessor…” He was right, because ever since that incident, the cases of drug pedaling by Nigerians for example have not only increased, we have etched our name globally as a people notorious for the drugs trade. Rather than be a disciplined, upright and law abiding people which was what Buhari sought to make of us, we have become known around the world as law breakers, untrustworthy and detestable. The drug cancer was eating deep into the fabrics of the Nigerian society with wives and children of military Generals and some of the high and mighty in civil society neck deep in the trade. And foreigners, except majority of Nigerians knew it at the beginning. The embarrassment of having to beg foreign countries to please spare the lives of our misguided children awaiting executions in their prison cells was what Buhari fought to avoid. Yes he was harsh, just as most military rulers are. But only surgery could have cured such an serious disease at the time. And ours was a drug cancer at the onset stages. What stage of the disease are we at today? I leave you to provide the answer to that question. (Ahh! this melecine too bitter… aah! this doktor na wicked man)…