Indonesian Authorities Admit They Were Wrong in the 2016 Execution of Nigerian Drug Suspect. What Now?

Mark Babatunde August 02, 2017
Activists hold a candle light vigil in front of Indonesia's presidential palace in Jakarta, while hoping that an appeal clemency would be heard. Photo Credit: twitter

Indonesia’s Ombudsman has revealed that there was “maladministration” in the 2016 execution of a Nigerian sentenced to death on charges of drug trafficking.

The Jakarta Post reports that Ombudsman Commissioner Ninik Rahayu told members of the press last Friday that the Supreme Court and the Office of the Attorney General were guilty of “negligence and discrimination” in the dissemination of justice.

Humphrey Jefferson ‘Jeff’ Ejike Eleweke, a Nigerian restaurateur, was executed by firing squad in July last year after an Indonesian court sentenced him to death in 2003 for being in possession of 1.7kg of heroin.  He was executed alongside 3 others, fellow Nigerian Michael Titus Igweh, Indonesian Freddy Budiman, and Senegalese Seck Osmane.

In her submission, the Ombudsman said Jeff’s execution did not comply with regulations as it was carried out while the convict had filed an application for clemency.

Following the execution, Jeff’s lawyer, Afif Abdul Qoyim, told the AFP that Indonesia had flouted its own law and disregarded international human rights conventions.

Indonesian Ombudsman Says the Authorities Erred in The 2016 Execution of Nigerian Drug Suspect

Humphrey Jefferson “Jeff” Ejike Eleweke, was executed by the Indonesian authorities last July despite an appeal for clemency to the Indonesian president.
Photo Credit: Lembaga Bantuan Hukum Masyarakat

“When this process is not respected, that means that this is no longer a country that upholds the law, nor human rights,” he said.

Under a 2002 Indonesian law, executions cannot be carried out while an appeal for clemency is still pending, at least not until the issuance of a presidential decree in relation to the appeal.

The Ombudsman said another sign of maladministration and discrimination was the Supreme Court’s refusal to review an appeal filed by Eleweke without “a proper explanation.”

Days before the Indonesian authorities executed Jeff and the 3 other convicts, face2face Africa joined rights groups and other international news media outlets in calling for a stay of execution as the judicial process appeared flawed because the convictions (in the case of Jeff and Igweh) were based on confessions extracted from the suspects through torture and the testimonies of alleged accomplices who could not witness in court because they died before the sentencing.


Last Edited by:Sandra Appiah Updated: June 19, 2018


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