Shocking revelations from Jarkata, the capital of Indonesia: it has been revealed that over 21 Nigerians are facing death sentences, while 31 are serving various jail terms in different prisons in the country for various offences which include drug peddling.
It was gathered that out of the 21 condemned Nigerians two of them, Samuel Iwuchukwu Okoye and Hassan Anthony Nwaolisa, were executed on June 28, 2008, while one Augustine Ogbonna died under mysterious circumstance in prison custody in September, 2008.
However, the shocking revelation from the L.P Kembang Kuning prisons and other prisons in the country, as revealed by a human rights lawyer based in Onitsha, Mr. Melly Eze, showed that 10 Nigerians who were among the 21 prisoners earlier sentenced to death by the Indonesia court in 2008, would be executed this week if the threat from the prisons authority is anything to go by.
Mr. Eze in the petition titled "Shocking Revelation From Indonesia Prisons: Execution Of 18 Nigerians Scheduled For Between June and August, 2010," stated that there was fresh threat to execute the prisoners on death row anytime from now if no further diplomatic efforts and pressure were mounted on the Indonesian authorities.
"I have it on good and reliable authority that officials of Indonesian government who opened discussions with the Nigerian delegation are now expressing disappointment over an apparent display of lack of seriousness on the part of Nigerian government over the diplomatic move already initiated by Nigerian government officials."
The human rights lawyer recalled that his earlier petition to the Presidency, the National Assembly and the Foreign Affairs Ministry in October, 2008 in respect of the 21 Nigerians on death row and others serving various jail terms in Indonesia attracted reactions from Senator Uche Chukwumerije who moved a motion on the floor of the Senate concerning the matter.
He said that his earlier petition had attracted the attention of the then Foreign Affairs Minister, Chief Ojo Maduekwe, who led a high-powered delegation to Indonesia to mediate on behalf of the convicts and 50 other prisoners serving various jail terms in Indonesia.
"The Senate President, David Mark, wrote me personally promising that the issue would be addressed, just as Dabiri-Erewa granted a press interview where she assured Nigerians that the government was committed to doing everything possible to address the plight of those Nigerians. So also did Senator Uche Chukwumerije," he said. "Four years after the delegation to Indonesia and assurances of mediating for the troubled Nigerians, the federal government may not have taken any further steps to get reprieve for the Nigerians. The visit of Indonesian President, Mr. Suuilo Bambang Yudhoyono to Nigeria today (Saturday) is the best opportunity for President Goodluck Jonathan and the National Assembly to fulfill their promises to get relief for the troubled Nigerians," the lawyer stated.
The Senate President, David Mark in a letter signed by his Chief of Staff, Mr. Agbo Ogah, dated November 7, 2008, had thanked the human rights lawyer for drawing the attention of the senate and indeed, Nigerians to the ugly situation faced by Nigerians in Indonesia and promised to do his best to that effect after referring the matter to the Senate Committee on Foreign Affairs.
Senator Uche Chukwu-merije also in his letter dated November 13, 2008, also said: "In order to get a clearer picture of the ordeal of these Nigerians, I sought for first hand information via telephone text messages from some of the victims in Indonesia. Following the Senate summon of the Minister, he led a high-powered delegation to Indonesia where the team interceded with Indonesian authority and returned with strong hope of a change of heart in Jarkata."
Meanwhile, there are fresh fears that some of the Nigerians earlier sentenced to death by the Indonesian court in 2008 may be among the 10 prisoners to be executed any moment from now as stated on the Internet. It was also gathered that the victims were being kept in various prisons in Nusakambagan Island including L.P Kembang Kuning, L.P Batu, L. P Besi, L.P Pasir Putth, L.P Permisian, L.P Markoba, Bandung, Bali and Medan all located in the city of Jarkata.
In the recent development, President Goodluck Jonathan on Saturday requested for a stay of execution of Nigerians on death role in Indonesia.
Jonathan made the request while receiving the Indonesian President, Susilo Yudhoyono, who is on a two-day state visit to Nigeria at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.
Yudhoyono had earlier been received with a 21-gun salute at the foyer of the President’s Office by men of the Presidential Brigade of Guard before proceeding to have a bilateral talk with Jonathan.
According to a communiqué issued at the end of the talk, the two Presidents expressed concern over the increasing number of Nigerians in detentions or death row.
"The two leaders noted with concern the increasing number of Nigerians in detention, jails and death rows in Indonesia for drug-related offences and financial crimes. In that regard, the President of Nigeria requested his Indonesian counterpart for stay of execution of those on death row while the two countries explore opportunities for an agreement of exchange of prisoners and Mutual Legal Assistance between the two countries," the communique read.
The two leaders reiterated that drug abuse and illicit trafficking of narcotic drugs, psychotropic substances, and their chemical precursors needed to be combated.
In order to strengthen bilateral cooperation in this area, the Presidents welcomed the signing of the MoU to combat drug abuse and illicit trafficking in narcotics drugs, psychotropic substances, and their chemical precursors.
The two leaders noted that Indonesia and Nigeria were among important troops-contributing countries to UN Peace Keeping Missions.
To further enhance their contributions and capacity building in peace-keeping, the two Presidents agreed to have a closer cooperation between the peace-keeping centres of both countries in order to encourage sharing of experience and best practices, as well as exchange of visit by trainers and experts.
"Both leaders also agreed to promote training cooperation involving military officers of both countries by encouraging participation of Indonesian and Nigerian military officers in training programmes at the staff colleges of both countries.
"The two leaders discussed the conflicts in Guinea-Bissau, Mali, and the Sahel, and the correlation between these and the war on terror. They shared the view that terrorism remains a global security threat. They therefore agreed to foster closer bilateral partnership to address this threat by cooperating closely in exchange of information, training and education as well as sharing of best practices.
"The two leaders instructed the relevant agencies of both countries to asses counter-terrorism needs upon which bilateral collaboration would be appropriately developed."
It further learnt that the two presidents expressed the determination to encourage agriculture cooperation between the two countries especially in the areas of cocoa, palm oil, and rubber plantations as well as the revival of groundnut cultivation in the North.
Jonathan told journalists at the end of the talk that it was obvious that most countries would not be able to meet the 2015 deadline for the MDGs.
"The Millenium Development Goal period was supposed to end in 2015 but from the look of things, most countries cannot meet up," he said.
The Indonesian President extended an invitation to Jonathan for a similar visit to his country.