Singapore executes Nigerian and Malaysian nationals for drug trafficking

Singapore's prison statistics show four people were hanged in in 2015 -- one for murder and three for drug offences

Singapore capital punishment
Representational Image -- Majid Kavousifar and Hossein Kavousifar, his nephew, hang from the cable of a crane in Tehran August 2, 2007 Reuters

Singapore executed two foreign nationals on Friday on drug trafficking charges. A 38-year-old Nigerian and a 31-year-old Malaysian were executed on Friday morning at Changi Prison after their last-minute appeals were rejected by the supreme court.

Nigerian Chijioke Stephen Obioha was found in possession of 2.6 kg of cannabis in April 2007, surpassing the capital limit of 500 g under Singapore Law. He was sentenced to the Mandatory Death Penalty in 2008.

The Malaysian man, identified as Devendran Supramaniam, was convicted of importing 83.36g of diamorphine into Singapore, crossing more than five times of the capital limit of 15g. He was sentenced to death in 2014.

Nigerian national Obioha appealed against his conviction and the death sentence, but the Court of Appeal dismissed his appeal in 2010. The Central Narcotics Bureau (CNB) said that after death penalty laws were amended in 2013, the authorities asked Obioha if he wanted to be considered for resentencing but he declined.

But suddenly before he was scheduled to be hanged in May 2016, Obioha changed his mind. He wanted to submit new evidence and was willing to be considered for resentencing.

However, the Court of Appeal rejected his request while it ordered a stay of execution to allow him time to file an application for resentencing. Three months later, Obioha again withdrew his resentencing application. Subsequently, the court also lifted the stay of execution.

Obioha again appealed for a stay of execution and to commute his death sentence to life imprisonment on Wednesday, just two days prior to his execution. On Thursday, the court dismissed the appeal.

On Friday, CNB said in a press release that Obioha "had been accorded full due process under the law". It added that two more petitions were filed by him and the High Commission of Nigeria to the President for clemency but those were also turned down.

The other executed convict, Malaysian Devendran Supramaniam, had also launched an eleventh-hour effort to get the death sentence commuted.

Singapore's prison statistics show four people were hanged in in 2015 -- one for murder and three for drug offences. Amnesty International had on Wednesday appealed to Singapore to halt the executions, AFP reported.