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Indonesia executes 3 Nigerians – Why they couldn’t be saved

Three Nigerians were among the four convicted drug traffickers executed early on Friday in Indonesia. The Nigerians were identified as Seck Osmane, Humphrey Jefferson Ejike and Michael Titus Igweh, while the fourth person was identified as an Indonesian man-Freddy Budiman.

The four were shot during a thunderstorm shortly after midnight on Nusakambangan Island in Central Java amidst international calls international calls for clemency.

Lawyer for Humphrey Jefferson Ejike, Ricky Gunawan, told the AFP that the execution process was “a complete mess”.

He said; “No clear information was provided to us about the time of execution, why only four [were executed] and what happens to the 10 others.”

According to Reuters, as many as 14 people were originally set to face the firing squad together on Friday, but officials decided a “comprehensive review” was needed to “avoid any mistake” in the 10 cases, Attorney General H. Muhammad Prasetyo said.

“Our battle against drug crimes is not over and it will continue. We will maintain our commitment, our firmness and our consistency,” Prasetyo said.

Indonesia has become a “business field” for the production, distribution, import and export of drugs, Prasetyo said.

Indonesia’s Deputy Attorney-General Noor Rachmad was quoted as saying “not a pleasant thing but it was to implement the law. The executions are only aimed at halting drug crimes”.

The president’s office has often given excuses for the killings, claiming that drugs are killing at least 40 people a day, but the statistics have been questioned by international experts.

According to the BBC, Indonesian President Joko Widodo vowed to take a hard line against drug trafficking when he was elected in 2014, saying he would not compromise over death sentences to convicted drug dealers. This is the third round of executions under Mr Widodo.

The date for the next round of executions has not been set, Prasetyo told reporters in Jakarta. Rachmad said the rest will be carried out in stages.

Those awaiting executions include three Indonesians, a Pakistani, an Indian, one Zimbabwean and four other Nigerians.

Meanwhile, Amnesty International have described the latest executions as a deplorable act that violates international and Indonesian law and pleaded that the other death sentences not be carried out.

Indonesia has some of the world’s toughest drug laws which has faced intense criticism internationally.

The execution of 14 drug convicts, mostly foreigners, In April 2015 led to the brief withdrawal of Australia ambassador from Indonesia in protest over the execution of its citizens, Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaran.

Around 152 people remain on death row in Indonesia, including convicted drug traffickers from the Philippines, France and Britain, according to the Attorney General’s Office.

Authorities plan to execute 16 prisoners this year and more than double that number in 2017, Reuters reported.

-Olalekan Olonilua for

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