The Nigerian government has reacted to the execution of Chijoke Obioha by the Singapore for reportedly being caught with hard drugs. There had been appeals by various organizations including the Amnesty International for the world to come to rescue of Obioha after the Singaporean government announced it was taking the action on November 18.
In reaction to the killing of Obioha, senior special assistant to President Muhammadu Buhari on foreign affairs and diaspora, Mrs Abike Dabiri-Erewa, described it as heartbreaking. In a statement by her special assistant on media, Abdur-Rahman Balogun in Abuja, she said it was obvious that Singapore is determined to enforce its laws as a deterrent to drug trafficking, nothing much can be achieved with repeated appeals.
Channels quoted Dabiri-Erewa as noting that drug peddling and abuse has reduced in Singapore because of its stringent laws and added that Nigerians are the ones to warn themselves against committing such crimes, especially in their host communities.
She said: “While we regret the death sentence passed on the Nigerian, we once again appeal to Nigerians to avoid crimes like drug trafficking with most countries especially in Asia declaring zero tolerance for drug trafficking.” As it became clear that Obioha would be executed, after he was caught trafficking 2.6 kilograms of cannabis on April 9, 2007, The Amnesty International called for a halt.
The weight of the drugs reportedly surpassed the statutory amount of 500 grams presumed as drug trafficking in Singapore and so the appeal for clemency was rejected. “The Singapore government still has time to halt the execution of Chijoke Stephen Obioha. “We are dismayed that clemency has not been granted in his case, but remain hopeful that they won’t carry out this cruel and irreversible punishment against a person sentenced to the mandatory death penalty for a crime that should not even be punished by death.