A Nigerian national,Chijioke Stephen Obioha,convicted for possession of drugson 30 December 2008, will be executed on 18 November.
According to Amnesty International, on 9 April 2007 Chijoke was found in possession of more than 2.6 kilograms of cannabis, surpassing the statutory amount of 500 grams that under Singapore law triggers the automatic presumption of trafficking.
Also in his possession were keys to a room containing additional prohibited substances,leading the authorities to presume him guilty of possession and knowledge of the drugs.
Chijioke Stephen Obioha’s appeal against his conviction and sentence was rejected in August 2010. Maintaining his innocence of the crime, Chijoke initially refused to make use of his right to resentencing which amendments to Singapore mandatory’s death penalty laws made in 2013 allowed for.
After the rejection of his clemency appeal in April 2015, his execution was set for 15 May 2015. It was stayed a day earlier to allow him to apply for resentencing.
His family were only informed on 25 October 2016 that he had resolved to withdraw his application for resentencing earlier in the year, following legal advice that he would not qualify as “courier” under the amended laws. Consequently, the Court of Appeal lifted the staye of xecution with effect from 24 October, resulting in the execution date to be set for 18 November.
Chijioke Stephen Obioha appealed once again for clemency for the President, who has the power to commute his death sentence.
“Chijioke Stephen Obioha graduated in Industrial Chemistry from Benin University in Nigeria. He moved to Singapore in 2005, seeking to join a football club. His family members, who currently live in Nigeria and the United Kingdom, have been unable to travel to visit and had limited ability to assist him. Throughout the duration of the proceedings, they have received sporadic and often delayed updates, including when a legal representative was removed from the case,” Amnesty International stated.