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Nigeria seeks release of prisoners on death row in Indonesia


THE Ministry of Foreign Affairs has made an appeal to Indonesia on the release of three prisoners currently on death row in the country, asking that the prisoners should be allowed to serve out their sentences in Nigeria.

This appeal was made Monday when the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Amb. Danjuma Sheni, received the Ambassador of Indonesia to Nigeria, Harry Purwanto, at the Ministry, in Abuja.

He said, “We had to summon you to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to appeal to you to talk to your government about the proposed execution of three Nigerians who are currently on death row in your country. As you know, your country and Nigeria have a robust and excellent relationship and we do not intend that anything should happen to our relationship.”

“We are aware of the consequences of drug trafficking in your country but we still want to put on record that we want to appeal to you and to your president to temper justice with mercy.”

He also said, “We understand that the three Nigerians have gone through the judicial processes and their appeal to the President has been turned down. We also understand that one of them, Mr. Salami, has been moved to an Island and any time from now may be executed. We want to appeal to you and through you to your governor that this sentence on Mr. Salami to be executed any time from now should be converted to life imprisonment.”

He, however, used the opportunity to ask that speedy treatment be be made on the exchange of prisoners negotiations between the two countries so that Nigerian nationals who may be cut off there be given the opportunity to serve their sentences in Nigeria.

Some other imprisoned Nigerians not on death row but there for other alleged crimes, who are willing to serve their sentences in Nigeria may be beneficiaries of the exchange agreement if engaged to fulfillment.

Ambassador Purwanto, in response to the Perm. Sec. said the appeal message will be taken to Jakarta. He said that Indonesia attaches great importance to its relations with Nigeria, however, death sentences in Indonesia is usually done in a credible, transparent and accountable way.

He his words, “In Indonesia, we still recognise the death sentences in criminal justices in areas such as terrorism and dealings with narcotics and others and have made it known that dealing in narcotics trafficking is risking ones life with the death penalty even before you come to Indonesia.”

He continued, “Executions are done with strict adherence to the process of law and we know that the cases have passed through the courts, the court of appeal and the supreme court so when clemency was requested to the president, it was turned down. The embassies in Indonesia are briefed fully from the very beginning on the detention process, the trials and the preparations for executions like the one we are facing now. After the legal processes are done and exhausted, clemency is denied.”

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