Chijioke Stephen Obioha who left Nigeria for Singapore in 2005 to try out the possibility of joining a football club has been executed today,November 18, 2016 for drug offences by the Singaporean government. He was executed in Changi prison alongside a Maylaysian who was also convicted of drug related offences. Stephen was arrested in April 2007 in possession of more than 2.5kg of substances suspected to be cannabis. He was sentenced in 2008, lost an appeal in 2010 and also lost another appeal for clemency in 2015 and 2016 respectively.
Reports have it that Amnesty International has condemned the killing of the 38 years old Nigerian stressing that death sentence has not reduced or eradicated drug related crimes.
“By executing people for drug-related offences, which do not meet the threshold of most serious crimes, Singapore is violating international law,” says Amnesty International.
This is not the first time a Nigerian would be executed in Singapore. Iwuchukwu Tochi was executed in 2007 in that same changi prison by Singaporean government.
Nigerians who have been reacting to the development have accused the Nigerian government of not doing enough to secure the relase of the condemned Obioha. Others however stressed the need for Nigerians to desist from committing these crimes where the consequences are very obvious. The senior special Assistant to the President on Foreign Affairs and the Diaspora, Hon Abike Dabiri had this to say
“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”
It was, to say the least, a heart breaking news for his parents who could not get access to Chijioke while his travails lasted in Singaporean prison. His remains were claimed by the prison ministry of the Catholic for burial.