Suspected Nigerian drug peddler sentenced to death in Malaysia
NDLEA decries death sentence
A Malaysian High Court has sentenced a 37-year-old Nigerian, one Ekene Collins Isaac, to death by hanging after he was found guilty of trafficking 915.6 grammes of Methamphetamine three years ago in Malaysia. In a swift reaction, the acting Chairman of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA), Mrs. Roli Bode-George has decried the reported death sentence passed on Isaac.
Court papers showed that Collins, who was a cleaner in Nigeria, committed the offence at Wad 6C, Serdang Hospital, at Jalan Puchong, Kajang, between 7.20a.m. on March 3, 2012 and 1.00p.m. on March 5 of the same year. The banned drugs were said to have been found inside his body by security agents.
The presiding judge, Datuk Wan Afrah Wan Ibrahim, handed down the sentence after she was satisfied that the prosecution had proven the case against him. Report says he did not show any remorse when Wan Afrah read out the sentence.
The peddler is believed to have swallowed the drugs in Nigeria, where he worked as a cleaner, before flying out to the Southeast Asian country.
During his trial, Isaac was only able to produce one witness to support his case, however the prosecution was able to present 13 witnesses who all testified to Isaac’s guilt.
The National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) had always sounded strict warnings to drug peddlers to quit the illicit business or risk their lives especially in Asian countries. Under Malaysia’s brassy anti-drug laws, trafficking drugs is an offence punishable with death by hanging.
Isaac’s case is not the first time a Nigerian has been sent to the grave by a Malaysian court. On December 17, Echefula Obasi was sentenced to death two years after being found with 2kg of MDMA in a car park in the city of Shah Alam.
Also, in May, a court in Malaysia’s capital Kuala Lumpur sentenced 30-year-old student, Mary George Unazi, to death for smuggling over 700g of MDMA in her luggage after flying into the country four years ago.
The Guardian learnt that the condemned have the right to appeal against their verdicts and that the governor of the state he was sentenced in has the power to commute the death sentence.
Bode-George, however, promised that diplomatic efforts shall be explored to save the convict and assured Nigerians that the agency will maintain total alertness in drug detection operation all through the New Year.
She gave the assurance while speaking on the discovery of drugs in tin packs and arrest of a suspected drug trafficker on Boxing Day at the Murtala Mohammed International Airport (MMIA) Lagos with substances that tested positive for cocaine on his way to Brazil.
The drug packed in six wraps weighing 120 grammes was inserted into his anus. The second suspect wanted to export a consignment containing 1.860kg of methamphetamine sealed in tin tomato paste to South Africa when he was arrested.
“The Nigerian government will work to protect every citizen from untimely death resulting from drug trafficking and drug abuse. We shall remain vigilant at all times and prevent drug trafficking syndicates from smuggling narcotic drugs in and out of the country.
“While respecting the laws of other countries, the Federal Government will explore diplomatic means to prevent capital punishment on citizens. Special arrangement has been made for officers to sustain intense surveillance all through the festive period and in the New Year. This covers the land borders, seaports, airports as well as all villages, towns and cities. The Agency is working very hard to uncover other members of the cartel,” she said.