A Nigerian footballer has been executed in Singapore for drug trafficking.
Chijoke Stephan Obioha, a graduate student, was executed by hanging after being convicted of attempting to traffic a little over 4 pounds of cannabis.
Obioha, who first came to the country on a football trial, has been incarcerated for nine years, one of eight people on death row, according to Online Citizen.
Obioha’s lawyer, Joseph Chen, filed an Urgent Criminal Motion that was ultimately dismissed by Singapore’s Court of Appeal.
Ravi, a member of Singapore’s Anti-Death Penalty Campaign, calls Obiaha’s case, “possibly the longest delay between sentencing and execution,” as the latter was first arrested in 2007 and sentenced in 2008.
He has been assisting Chen with the case, and after the motion was rejected Ravi wrote on Facebook, “Chijioke is now being led to the prison to be executed in less than 11 hours. I understand that no one from his family is here to visit him or arrange his funeral. Another case of the death penalty being disproportionately imposed on the poor and the disadvantaged…”
Since 2007, Obioha has not seen his family and they will not be able to be in Singapore to collect his remains after his execution.
Sputniknews reports that his brother penned a letter saying that he was “Hard working and industrious,” and that “our family miss(es) that brother, (a) son and uncle who always love to see our family united and happy. (An) educated brother and skilful in playing soccer, which was one of his dreams in Singapore. It was an unforgettable shock for the family to hear of his link to such (a) case. I have always been in constant contact with him since his stay in prison and he has always kept to his stance of innocence.“