Singapore has executed two foreigners for drug trafficking offences on Friday 18 November after their eleventh-hour appeals were thrown out by the top courts.
The two — a former footballer hopeful from Nigeria, Chijoke Stephen Obioha, 39, and Malaysian Devendran Supramaniam, 31 — were both convicted of drug trafficking and were sentenced to death in 2008 and 2014 respectively, Channel News Asia reported.
Obioha was convicted of trafficking in 2.6 kilogrammes of cannabis, which is more than five times the capital limit of 500 grammes. He appealed against both his conviction and sentence, but this was dismissed by the Court of Appeal in 2010.
Singapore's Central Narcotics Bureau said that after death penalty laws were amended in 2013, Obioha was asked if he wanted to be considered for resentencing but he declined. However, before he was scheduled to hang in May 2016, he changed his mind and decided to submit new evidence and be considered for resentencing.
The Court of Appeal rejected his request but allowed a stay of execution to allow him time to file an application for resentencing. Obioha then withdrew his resentencing application three months later, resulting in the court lifting the stay of execution.
On Wednesday 16 November, he again submitted an appeal for a stay of execution and to commute his death sentence to life imprisonment. The appeal was heard and dismissed by the apex court on Thursday 17 November.
The Bureau said in a statement on 18 November that Obioha "had been accorded full due process under the law". Two petitions to the President for clemency filed by him and by the High Commission of Nigeria were turned down.
According to Nigeria's Daily Post, Obioha who graduated in Industrial Chemistry from the Benin University in Nigeria moved to Singapore in 2005 in a bid to join a football club.
Amnesty International had urged the Singapore government not to carry out the execution: "The death penalty is never the solution. It will not rid Singapore drugs. By executing people for drug-related offences, which do not meet the threshold of most serious crimes, Singapore is violating international law," Rafendi Djamin, Amnesty International's Director for Southeast Asia and the Pacific said.
Devendran was convicted of importing 83.36 grammes of diamorphine into Singapore — more than five times the capital limit of 15 grammes. His appeal against both conviction and sentence was dismissed by the Court of Appeal in May 2015.
Two motions for a stay of execution and to re-open his appeal were filed on 17 November. They were heard and dismissed the same day. His petition to the President for clemency was also turned down.