Another Nigerian Sentenced To Death In Indonesia For Drug Trafficking

drug traffickingThe media in Jakarta, the capital of Indonesia is reporting that another Nigerian, a certain Mr. Simon Ezeaputa, has been sentenced to death in Indonesia for drug trafficking.

The district court in Tangerang, near Jakarta on Wednesday found Mr. Ezeaputa guilty of controlling a drug transaction from his prison cell, where he was serving a 20-year jail term for drug offences.

The report says the transaction involved 350 grams of crystal methamphetamine.

Meanwhile, the Amnesty International says in its annual report on the death penalty worldwide released that “Indonesia stands out for all the wrong reasons”.

Head, Amnesty Researcher, Indonesia, Papang Hidayat, says that there are many issues in Indonesia, in particular fair trial concerns, that make death sentences more complicated.

The Nigerian Government, in March 2015, made frantic efforts to convince the Indonesian authorities to convert the death sentence of three Nigerians accused of drug trafficking to life sentence.

In a meeting between the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ambassador Danjuma Sheni and the Indonesian Ambassador to Nigeria, Ambassador Sheni also appealed that the negotiations on the exchange of prisoners between both countries should be hastened.

Indonesia, however, rejected one of the Nigerians’ plea for clemency with an Indonesian court’s rejection of the Nigerian death row inmate’s legal challenge.

Lawyers for the Nigerian, whose alias is Raheem Agbaje Salami, appealed against President Joko Widodo’s rejection of his clemency plea in the administrative court. The court, again dismissed his appeal on the grounds it did not have jurisdiction over presidential decisions.

Indonesia Rejects Nigerian’s Plea For Clemency

Indonesia The chances of converting the death sentence of three Nigerians accused of drug trafficking to life sentence appear bleak, with an Indonesian court’s rejection of Nigerian death row inmate’s legal challenge.

Lawyers for a Nigerian, whose alias is Raheem Agbaje Salami, appealed against President Joko Widodo’s rejection of his clemency plea in the administrative court yesterday.

The court, however, dismissed his appeal on the grounds it did not have jurisdiction over presidential decisions.

Mr. Salami’s lawyer, Utomo Karim, however said that he would appeal.

He will also seek a judicial review for the Nigerian in the Surabaya district court on Wednesday, on the basis the entire prosecution of his case was illegal, because it was based on the man’s fake identity.

A man purporting to be Raheem Agbaje Salami, from the southern Spanish city of Cordova, was arrested in 1998 smuggling 5.3 kilograms of heroin into Surabaya, the second largest city in Indonesia.

However, Raheem’s passport was false. His real name is Jamiu Owolabi Abashin, a Nigerian national.

Although he was arrested 17 years ago, Indonesian authorities continue to use the fake name in prison on Nusakambangan.

Another Nigerian on death row in Indonesia is Okwudili Ayontanze, a gospel singer, who plays music with prison guards and has released albums from his Nusakambangan prison.

The third, Silvestre Obiekwe, is reported to have angered authorities by allegedly continuing to run a drug syndicate from behind bars.

Nigeria Seeks Death Sentence Reversal For Citizens In Indonesia

Empty prisonThe Nigerian government is making frantic efforts to convince  the Indonesian authorities to convert the death sentence of three Nigerians accused of drug trafficking to life sentence.

In a meeting between the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ambassador Danjuma Sheni and the Indonesian Ambassador to Nigeria on Monday, Ambassador Sheni also appealed that the ongoing negotiations on the exchange of prisoners between both countries should be hastened.

He said that hastening the process would enable Nigerian prisoners in Indonesia have the top option of serving their sentences at home.

Nigeria is seeking the sentence conversion of the Nigerians, especially for Raheem Agbaje Salami, 45, whose execution is due to be carried out at an isolated Island in Indonesia.

Nigerians On Death Row

The chances of the death sentence being converted, however, appears bleak, with an Indonesian court’s rejection of Nigerian death row inmate’s legal challenge.

Lawyers for a Nigerian, whose alias is Raheem Agbaje Salami, appealed against President Joko widodo’s rejection of his clemency plea in the administrative court on Sunday.

The court, however, dismissed his appeal on the grounds that it did not have jurisdiction over presidential decisions.

Mr Salami’s lawyer, Utomo Karim, however, said he would appeal.

He will also seek a judicial review for the Nigerian in the Surabaya district court on Wednesday, on the basis that the entire prosecution of his case was illegal because it was based on the man’s fake identity.

A man purporting to be Raheem Agbaje Salami, from the southern Spanish city of Cordova, was arrested in 1998 smuggling 5.3 kilograms of heroin into Surabaya, Indonesia’s second largest city.

However, Raheem’s passport was false. His real name is Jamiu Owolabi Abashin, a Nigerian national. Although he was arrested 17 years ago, Indonesian authorities continue to use the fake name in prison on Nusakambangan.

Another Nigerian on death row is Okwudili Ayontanze, a gospel singer, who plays music with prison guards and had released albums from his Nusakambangan prison.

The third, Silvester Obiekwe, is reported to have angered authorities by allegedly continuing to run a drug syndicate from behind bars.

The Indonesia Ambassador to Nigeria, Harry Purwanto said the death sentence in Indonesia is a rigorous, strict and transparent process that goes through all their levels of court, after Presidential clemency is often denied.

The Ambassador, however, promised to present the appeal before his country’s government.

Divers Recover Data Recorder From AirAsia wreck

201511155336669734_20Indonesian navy divers on Monday retrieved the black box flight data recorder from an AirAsia airliner that crashed two weeks ago, killing all 162 people on board, a government official said.

Divers found the flight data recorder under the wreckage of one of the plane’s wings, said Bambang Soelistyo, the head of Indonesia’s search and rescue agency.

“We succeeded in lifting the part of the black box known as the flight data recorder,” Soelistyo, told reporters at a news conference on Monday.

The second black box with the cockpit voice recorder has been located, based on pings from its emergency transmitter, but not yet retrieved, Madjono Siswosuwarno, the main investigator at the National Transportation Safety Committee, told Reuters.

Officials hope the black boxes, found near the wrecked wing of the plane, will reveal the cause of the crash. The national weather bureau has said seasonal storms were likely a factor.

The two devices, known popularly as black boxes, are seen as crucial to unraveling the mystery of what brought down Flight QZ8501 as it flew toward Singapore from the Indonesian city of Surabaya with 162 people on board.

The recorders are expected to be taken to the capital, Jakarta, for analysis and it could take up to a month to get a complete reading of the data. Officials did not provide details of the condition of the black boxes.

“The download is easy, probably one day. But the reading is more difficult … could take two weeks to one month,” Siswosuwarno said.

While the cause of the crash is unknown, the disaster has once again placed Indonesia’s chaotic aviation industry under scrutiny.

Indonesian officials have alleged Indonesia AirAsia did not have a licence to fly the route on the day of the crash, although the airline rejects the claim.

Indonesia’s Transport Ministry quickly banned AirAsia from flying the Surabaya-Singapore route. On Friday it suspended dozens more routes operated by five other domestic airlines for similar licence violations.

Air-Asia: Indonesia Officials Find Bodies, Debris Off Coast Of Borneo Island

AirAsiaIndonesia officials and rescuers have seen bodies and luggage off the coast of Borneo island on Tuesday which was declared 95% sure to be from the missing Air-Asia plane QZ8501 with 162 people on board.

Indonesia Air-Asia’s Flight QZ8501, an Airbus A320-200, lost contact with air traffic control early on Sunday during bad weather on a flight from the Indonesian city of Surabaya to Singapore.

Indonesia’s national broadcaster reported sighting bodies floating in the waters, and citing Indonesian officials as saying that there was a shadow of the plane underneath the sea.

At least forty bodies have so far been discovered about an hour and a half flight away from Surabaya.

Search and Rescue Agency chief, Soelistyo told reporters he was “95 per cent sure” the debris was from the missing plane.

All resources were now being sent to the area where the debris was found, and all objects or bodies found would be taken to Pangkalan Bun, he said, referring to a nearby town in Central Kalimantan province.

Mr Soelistyo added that ships with more sophisticated technology were being deployed to check whether larger parts of the plane were submerged beneath the debris.

Djoko Murjatmodjo, acting director general of air transportation at the transportation ministry, told reporters some of the debris spotted were red and white, Air-Asia’s colors.

“It’s probably from the aircraft,” he said.

Air-Asia CEO, Tony Fernandes, tweeted to the families: “My heart is filled with sadness for all the families involved in QZ 8501. On behalf of Air-Asia my condolences.

Earlier, Indonesian officials said they were investigating reports of smoke seen rising from an island close to Belitung island, one of the focal points of the search, though experts cautioned it could be unrelated to the missing plane.

On board the plane were 137 adult passengers, 17 children and one infant, along with two pilots and five crew.

Most were Indonesian but the passengers included one UK national, a Malaysian, a Singaporean and three South Koreans.

The plane left Surabaya at 05:35 Jakarta time on Sunday and had been due to arrive in Singapore two hours later.

Safety officials say the captain had asked for permission to take the plane higher but, by the time permission was granted, communication with the plane was lost.

It was officially declared missing at 07:55.

Air-Asia previously had an excellent safety record and there were no fatal accidents involving its aircraft.

Air Asia Flight Goes Missing With 162 On Board

Air AsiaAn AirAsia plane plane carrying 162 people on Sunday went missing in Southeast Asia following the pilots’ request to change to a higher altitude to “avoid clouds”, during a flight from the Indonesian city of Surabaya to Singapore.

Indonesia AirAsia Flight QZ8501, an Airbus 320-200, lost contact with Jakarta air traffic control at 6:17 a.m. (6.17 p.m. EST), officials said.

The craft had on board 155 passengers and seven crew on board. Indonesia AirAsia said 156 were Indonesian, with three from South Korea and one each from Singapore, Malaysia and France.

However, the United Kingdom Foreign Office has also noted that a British national was aboard the plane and that the next of kin have been informed.

Passengers also comprised 138 adults, 16 children.

“The aircraft was on the submitted flight plan route and was requesting deviation due to enroute weather before communication with the aircraft was lost,” the airline said in a statement.

No distress signal had been sent, said Joko Muryo Atmodjo, air transportation director at Indonesia’s transport ministry.

The search has begun for the flight as both neighboring Singapore and Malaysiahave offered to help in the process.

However, there are reports an aircraft crashed east of Belitung Island, Indonesia, but it is not confirmed to be the missing #QZ8501, according to local media.

Tsunami-Hit Nations Mark Anniversary

TsunamiToday marks the 10th anniversary of the 2004 tsunami which killed over 200,000 people in Asia.

Memorial services are being held in Indonesia, Sri Lanka, Thailand and India for the victims of the Indian Ocean tsunami.

In Indonesia’s province of Aceh – the worst hit area – Vice-President Jusuf Kalla led tributes to the dead at the Siron mass grave.

A series of solemn events and religious rites have also been held in Thailand to mark the anniversary.

Prime Minister Chan-ocha laid a wreath for victims at the site of a beached police boat that has become a symbol of the disaster.

Thai police boat 813 was swept nearly 2km (1.2 miles) in from the sea at Bang Niang near Phuket.

“This heavy loss serves as a reminder and lesson for everyone” he told thousands of guests.

A 9.15-magnitude quake opened a fault line deep beneath the ocean a decade ago and triggered a wave as high as 57 feet which crashed ashore in more than a dozen countries, wiping some communities off the map in seconds.

The tsunami also hit Bangladesh, Myanmar, Malaysia, the Maldives and later reached the east African nations’ of Kenya, Somalia and Tanzania.

World Bank On Poverty: Finance Minister Attributes Nigeria’s Rating To Population

Okonjo-Iweala on WBNigeria’s Minister of Finance, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, has been explaining how the World Bank arrived at its rating of Nigeria among the extreme poor nations of the world.

Fielding questions from journalists at a forum in Abuja, Dr. Okonjo-Iweala explained that the rating was based on the large number of poor people living in the country, a phenomenon she said was peculiar to middle income countries, including Nigeria.

“India is a middle income country, one of the largest in the world, like Nigeria, is a big economy but the largest number of poor people in the world resides in India and China and other places.

“Most middle income countries, even Brazil have large numbers of poor people. That is the reality of today, Nigeria is no exception”, she said.

She explained further, “Today, if you go to the Chinese, they will tell you ‘let us slow down about praising China’ because we still have a substantial number of poor people; Brazil the same, that is why they started the safety net programme in Brazil and that is what President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan has asked four or five of his ministers to get together and try to build this platform.

“So we should not try to single Nigeria out. What we have to do is focus on what is the answer, what are other countries doing that we can also learn from and do. Nobody says that everything is fine but we are learning and where we make some progress like other countries, we should also acknowledge it.”

Other countries also rated by the World Bank group as extremely poor are India, China, Bangladesh, Democratic Republic of Congo, Indonesia, Pakistan, Tanzania, Ethiopia and Kenya.

World Bank Rates Nigeria Among Extremely Poor Countries

World-BankThe World Bank Group has rated Nigeria among the world’s extremely poor countries, promising to assist in ending what it called ‘extreme poverty’ in the nations.

Other countries that were also rated as extremely poor are India, China, Bangladesh, DR Congo, Indonesia, Pakistan, Tanzania, Ethiopia and Kenya.

At the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR) in Washington on Wednesday, in advance of the World Bank/IMF Spring Meetings, World Bank President, Dr Jim Yong Kim, stated that the global bank would deal with the extreme poverty in Nigeria and its counterparts in the coming years.

Ending Extreme Poverty By 2030

He said: “The fact is that two-thirds of the world’s extreme poor are concentrated in just five countries: India, China, Nigeria, Bangladesh, and the Democratic Republic of Congo.  If you add another five countries, Indonesia, Pakistan, Tanzania, Ethiopia, and Kenya, the total grows to 80 per cent of the extreme poor.”

Dr Kim stressed that the World Bank Group would focus on Nigeria and other nine countries, but emphasised that the plan would not make other countries in the world to be ignored.

“We will have a strategy that ensures that no country is left behind, as we move toward the target of ending extreme poverty by 2030,″ he said.

The World Bank President also announced a series of measures aimed at strengthening the World Bank Group to better meet the evolving needs of clients, including a $100 billion increase in the lending capacity of the Bank’s lending arm for middle-income countries over the next decade.

According to Dr. Kim, this new innovations in financial management, and a boost in the institution’s ability to provide private sector support follows the record $52 billion replenishment of IDA, the World Bank’s fund for the poorest, in December 2013.

Kim also outlined how the Bank was positioning itself to better achieve its goals of ending extreme poverty by 2030 and boosting shared prosperity for the lowest 40 per cent in developing countries.

“We now have the capacity to nearly double our annual lending to middle-income countries from $15 billion to $26 to $28 billion a year. This means that the World Bank’s lending capacity will increase by $100 billion to roughly $300 billion over the next ten years.

“This is in addition to the largest IDA replenishment in history, with $52 billion in grants and concessional loans to support the poorest countries,” he said.

 

D8 Countries Recommend Shipping Sector Development For Effective Trade Cooperation

D8 CountriesA group of 8 developing countries known as D8 Countries has advocated massive investment and training in ship building technology for effective trade cooperation.

The Secretary-General of the D8 Expert Working Group, Dr. Seyed Mousavi, made the suggestion at a meeting to deliberate on how to improve trade amongst member countries through shipping in Abuja, Nigeria’s capital city.

Dr. Mousavi said that significant investment in the shipping sector is key to the achievement of socio-economic development for member countries.

Although a lot of efforts have been put in place to ensure easy transportation of goods and services among member countries, experts called for commitment from government in terms of investment and education.

While previous meetings on how to boost trade amongst member countries is said to have yielded positive results, top officials at the meeting, including the Minister of Transport, Idris Umar, and Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Martin Uhomoibhi believed that the implementation of pending policies could further improve its socio-economic development.

Members of the D8 countries are Bangladesh, Egypt, Indonesia, Iran, Malaysia, Nigeria, Pakistan, and Turkey. It is expected that recommendations made at this meeting will be fully implemented in the interest of member countries.

MINT Countries: Nigerian Government Must Build Human Capacity – Economist

Financial Analyst, Pascal Odigbo, has called on the Nigerian Government to build its internal capacity in order to achieve its potential as one of the World’s emerging economies, tagged the ‘MINT’ countries.

The MINT countries, made up of Mexico, Indonesia, Nigeria and Turkey have been categorized as emerging economies that would become super powers by the year 2050.

Odigbo said that the World is always looking for the next big thing and the rationale for such projection was for investors to take position as the evaluation is based on the demographics in those countries.

He noted that this is a major pointer to the fact that other nations are showing attention to Nigeria. He said, “If you don’t have a I won’t call you.

“I think very strongly that there is absolute need for politicians to understand that this is not about personal gains but about our nation and our destiny” as this kind of declaration brings focus on what the country is doing and the world is watching.

He laid emphasis on ‘Potential’ using an analogy from the principles of Kinetic Energy in Physics. He explained that with the availability of power, one still needs to press a switch to light a bulb.

Therefore, with the world putting so much attention on Nigeria, “you need to know that you are doing something right, but now we need to be able to dimension it rightly.”

In analysing Nigeria’s potentials, he said that the strength of Nigeria is in its population, and this makes it a major ground for retail business, citing the successes of the many shopping malls that have sprung up in recent times in the country.

The ‘Sunrise Daily’ crew drew his attention to the dangers this may pose to the service and manufacturing sectors, and he agreed that things were wrong in those sectors but commended the Federal Government for its Automotive Policy which he sees as a step in the right direction towards improving the country’s manufacturing industry.

He however noted that the most important area was human development. He said, “We need to develop the people, we are putting so much into the assets rather than the people.”

He admitted that nothing was wrong with infrastructural development but it is counterproductive to build roads and other infrastructure without building the internal capacity of the people to work with these structures.

He pointed out that over a million students sit for the Joint Admission Matriculation Board (JAMB) examinations every year, but admission into the universities are available to about 500,000 people. He warned that Nigeria’s lack of human capacity would force foreign builders to bring their own people to man the country’s infrastructure, consequently leading to second slavery.

He added, “Most of the people in leadership, whether at state or local government level do not have a clue as to why they are there.”

“Government must begin to see this as a mission, developing a country is not in the mantra but in the things that you do. ”

Group Protests Fate Of Condemned Nigerians In Indonesia

A coalition of Human Rights groups has stormed the Anambra state House of Assembly in a protest to demand the intervention of the lawmakers in the release of 14 Nigerians currently on death row in Indonesia.

The group stated that the prisoners had been condemned to death without fair hearing.

Mr. Anthony Orokoya who led the activists stated that majority of the 14 condemned Nigerians in Indonesia are from Anambra state and that has necessitated their bringing the matter to the representatives of the people for onward presentation to the state government and finally to the federal government for necessary action.

According to the leader of the group, three of the prisoners have been executed and that ignited the move to alert both the government and people of Anambra state, who are mostly affected on the present circumstance that requires urgent intervention.

Mr Orokoya maintained that even if the 14 persons committed the crime for which they are convicted of, they still deserve the right to fair hearing and as such urged the state house of assembly to act within their legislative power to send the necessary signal to appropriate quarters.

Representing the speaker, the House member for Onitsha North 1 Constituency, Chugbo Enwezor, commended the human rights group for their courage and thoughtfulness to bring the petition before the house of assembly.

He also assured them of prompt delivery of their message to the state government.

The activists told the house members that the people of Anambra state are enterprising and industrious and as such should not allow the spirit to die and as the representative of the people should not watch as their able bodied men are exterminated without proper and fair hearing.