Following the refusal of the Indonesian court to grant clemency, ignoring pleas from by the UN head, Amnesty International and foreign leaders, four Nigerian citizens will be executed early on Wednesday in Indonesia along with five nationals from other countries.
It appears that the nine drug convicts, charged with heroin smuggling and sentenced to death by Indonesian judges, will face a firing squad in Indonesia on Wednesday.
In one of the cases the price of life equals as low as $400 – that’s what has been promised to a courier for smuggling heroin in case of success.
The convicts’ last hours are running out on Wednesday just after the midnight as Indonesian court ruled out a decision on Saturday to execute them within next 72 hours, despite pleas from UN chief, Amnesty International and foreign leaders.
Indonesian media also report that nine coffins, covered in white cloth, were taken in readiness on Sunday night to the police station in the Javanese town of Cilacap, near Nusakambangan island, where the convicts are being kept and where they will be shot.
Indonesia gave a 72-hour execution notice to the four Nigerians, two Australians, one Filipina, one Brazilian and one Indonesian on Saturday. That time frame, and the dates being inscribed on the crosses, suggests that the executions will take place very early on Wednesday morning — perhaps just after the stroke of midnight.
The sad stories of Nigerian convicts that have led them to the death row in Indonesia pretty much remind each other. Naij report.
Martin Anderson, now 50, was arrested in Jakarta in 2003. He was charged with possessing about 1.8 ounces of heroin. Mr. Anderson also was accused of being a member of a drug dealer gang. He was shot in the leg during arrest and suffers from pain in the wound to this day. Mr. Anderson has filed an appeal to the Supreme Court, but his lawyer told that such appeal can take up to six month to be heard, so the appeal would not be considered until after he is executed.
Silvester Obiekwe Nwolise, now 47, was unemployed in Lagos, when his friend offered him a really good job in Pakistan. However, it turned out that instead of doing some job he had to swallow some small capsules, filled with goat horn powder, as he was told – and then fly to Indonesia. “They said they didn’t want to pay tax on it,” recalls his wife Fatimah Farwin. However, goat horn powder turned to be 2.6 pounds of pure Afghan heroin. Upon arrival to the airport in Jakarta, Mr. Nwolise was searched and X-rayed by customs officers.
He was arrested in 2001 and awaits execution since then after being convicted of bringing drugs into the country. His wife Fatimah, who is Indonesian, told that a judge was extorting from couple $22,000 for reducing penalty from death sentence to a prison term. Ms. Fatimah married Mr. Nwolise in 2007. She met him in prison while accompanying her friend who was visiting another inmate. They have two children, now five and three years old. Since then Indonesian police accused him of running a drug ring from inside prison, an accusation he strongly denies. “Some woman on the outside blamed him,” Ms. Fatimah told press, “but when they came to his cell, they never found anything”.
Okwudili Oyatanze, now 41, also known as The Death Row Gospel Singer, was arrested in 2001, for an attempt to smuggle more than 5.5 pounds of ingested heroin. While in prison, Mr. Oyatanze recorded around 70 songs with prison guards and fellow inmates. Native of Biafra, Mr. Oyatanze was running a garment business, which finally flopped. In desperate try to pay huge debts Mr. Oyatanze travelled to Pakistane to become a drug mule. However, he got death sentence instead.
Jamiu Owolabi Abashin, now 50, was a homeless in Bangkok, when his friend offered him a good job for $400. All that was needed from him is to deliver a pack of second hand clothing to his friend’s wife in Surabaya, Indonesia. But it turned out that a package contained something more than used clothes. He was sentenced to life in prison for attempt of smuggling 12 pounds of heroin. The term was later reduced to 20 years. After serving 17 years in prison, he was sentenced to death when state prosecutors have challenged the sentence reduction in the Supreme Court of Indonesia. UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and Amnesty International have pled Indonesian government to cancel the execution but without avail.