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Indonesia’s Execution of Nigerian Ignites Rights Violation Crisis



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The office of Indonesia’s ombudsman has uncovered evidence of rights violations in the execution of a Nigerian drug convict in 2016, an official disclosed today, June 28.

NAN reports say Ninik Rahayu, an official of the ombudsman’s office overseeing the case disclosed that Humphrey Jefferson was still seeking compassion from President Joko Widodo at the time of his execution. Hence there was still a chance of him being pardoned,

Naija News gathered that Jefferson, sentenced to death in 2004, had also sought a second judicial review of his case by the Supreme Court, but was denied by the Central Jakarta court without vivid reasons,  Rahayu said, in what she termed maladministration.

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According to NAN, if the court had taken on Jefferson’s case, his execution would have been delayed until its final verdict.

“When one is given the death penalty, all of the procedures must be done according to the laws,” Rahayu told reporters at her office.

“The rights of the person must be fully met before his sentence is carried out. You can’t bring back the dead to life.”

Rahayu also said the Attorney General’s office, responsible for conducting the execution, had not followed rules requiring it to give Jefferson and his family 72 hours’ notice of the event.

The execution was done according to law, said Muhammad Rum, a spokesman for the Attorney General’s office.

Telephone calls to the Central Jakarta court to seek comment were not answered.

A Supreme Court spokesman, Judge Suhadi, who goes by one name like many Indonesians, did not comment on the specific case but said the court did not generally grant a second review.

Jefferson, two other Nigerians and an Indonesian were the only prisoners to face the firing squad on July 29 last year, from an initial group of 14 picked.


The delay was due to a “comprehensive review”, said Attorney General H. Muhammad Prasetyo.


The executions were the second round under Widodo, whose predecessor, Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, imposed a moratorium on the death penalty.

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Many international bodies and foreign governments have urged Indonesia to pardon those on death row. They have also called on Indonesia to abolish capital punishment, but the calls have gone unheeded.

Widodo has told law enforcement officers not to hesitate in shooting drug traffickers who resist arrest in the war on drugs.

The ombudsman’s office has given government bodies 60 days to respond to its findings. But its limited powers mean it can only take its recommendations to Widodo in cases of failure to respond.

Jefferson’s lawyer, Ricky Gunawan, said he planned to use the ombudsman’s findings to file a civil lawsuit against the office of the attorney-general, seeking compensation for his client.

“We call on the Attorney General’s office to stop the preparation of any future death execution … and treat the convicts with respect and have their rights fulfilled,” Gunawan said.


Source: Naija News

Ibukun Josephine Bankole was a Senior Associate at Naija News. A Mass Communication graduate, Ibukun is passionate about journalism especially in the areas of health and child related issues. She loves eating beans, singing, acting and giving motivational speeches. Ibukun is meticulous and has a positive approach to life. Contact me via twitter/Instagram @ibukunbankole_