President Goodluck Jonathan has asked for a stay of execution on Nigerians on death row in Indonesia.
He made this statement on Saturday while playing host to the Indonesian President, Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono who is in Abuja on a 2-day state visit. President Jonathan also called for more bilateral relations between the two countries and pledged to do an early convening of the Joint Commission for Bilateral Cooperation meeting between the two countries.
This was announced to the public through tweets by the Presidential Spokesman, Dr Reuben Abati, who said both presidents welcomed the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding to combat drug abuse and illicit trafficking in narcotics, and drugs just as they agreed to promote training cooperation involving military officers of both countries.
There are currently at least 18 Nigerians currently on death row in Indonesian prisons. They were condemned to death by the Indonesian courts in 2008 for their alleged various criminal offences including drug peddling and other related offences. It is feared that some of the Nigerian convicts may be among 10 prisoners slated for execution soon.
So far, 21 Nigerians have been sentenced to death by Indonesian courts, four others to life in prison and eight others to various jail terms ranging from 11 to 18 years.
Out of the 21 condemned Nigerians, two of them, Samuel Iwuchukwu Okoye and Hassan Anthony Nwaolisa were executed on June 28, 2008, while another, Augustine Ogbonna died under mysterious circumstances in prison custody in September, 2008.
Abati’s tweets went thus:
“Pres. Jonathan requested for stay of execution of Nigerians on death row in Indonesia while both explore agreement on exchange of prisoners
“Both Presidents welcomed the signing of MoU btw Nigeria and Indonesia to combat drug abuse and illicit trafficking in narcotics, and drugs.”
“Both Presidents pledged to work together towards attaining a more balanced and mutually beneficial relationship betweenNigeria and Indonesia.”