Update: There is a last-ditch constitutional challenge at 5pm today to try to stay the execution and/or save his life. If it fails, Chijioke will be taken from death row – where he has been for the past 8 years – and hanged at 6am tomorrow, far from home, without being able to see his family.
By: M Ravi / Singapore Anti-Death Penalty Campaign
An an urgent Criminal Motion was filed a few minutes ago in the Court of Appeal on behalf of Chijioke (A Nigerian national) who is facing execution on Friday morning. The application is based on the question whether a prolonged delay and the supervening events in the execution of the death sentence contravened Article 9(1) of the constitution in so far as it amounted to cruel and inhumane treatment.
I would like to thank lawyer Joseph Chen for agreeing to represent Chijioke on this last ditch attempt to apply to the court to commute the death sentence to life imprisonment.
These are times I terribly miss my practising certificate when it becomes extremely difficult to get counsels on board on such matters.However , I’m glad to be part of the research team and we managed to get the application going.
We expect the Motion to be heard tomorrow afternoon in the Court of Appeal. Will update once we here from the court.
On 9 April 2007, Chijioke was found in possession of more than 2.6 kilograms of cannabis, exceeding 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. In August 2010, an appeal against Chijioke’s conviction and sentence was rejected. In 2013, when amendments to Singapore’s mandatory death penalties laws kicked in, Chijioke initially refused to make use of his right to resentencing. In April 2015, his clemency appeal was rejected and his execution was set for May 2015. Just one day before the execution, he was allowed to apply for resentencing. Following legal advice that he would not qualify as a “courier” under the amended laws, Chijioke withdrew his application for resentencing. This led to the lifting of the stay of execution on 24 October 2016 and the setting of the execution date.