article19: I originally posted this on my blog about 9.30am. I have updated it since learning of not One but Two executions. I believe quite a number, including me, are shocked & surprised that Okeke Nelson Malachy was also hanged today. There was no indication or news of the date of his hanging before today. At least not that I knew of. I have no words to describe this rush to kill. <shaking my head>

Singapore hangs Nigerian drug smuggler

SINGAPORE, Jan 26 (Reuters) at 8.57am – Singapore hanged a 21-year-old Nigerian man for drug smuggling on Friday, despite pleas from the Nigerian president, the United Nations and international human rights groups to spare his life.

Iwuchukwu Amara Tochi was hanged at about 6 a.m. (2200 GMT) at the city-state’s Changi prison, Stanley Seah, assistant superintendent at Singapore’s Central Narcotics Bureau, told Reuters.

No further details were immediately available.

Tochi was arrested at Singapore’s Changi Airport in November 2004 for carrying about 727 grams (25.6 ounces) of heroin.

Nigerian President Olusegun Obasanjo asked the Singapore government on Tuesday to grant a reprieve to Tochi, who was a champion football player in Nigeria according to human rights group Singapore Anti-Death Penalty Campaign.

In Geneva, the United Nations’ special investigator for extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions said on Thursday that Singapore would be violating international legal standards on the use of the death penalty if it went ahead with the hanging.

The death sentence is mandatory for anyone caught carrying more than 15 grams of heroin in Singapore, which enforces one of the harshest anti-drug laws in the world. – Reuters

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Two African drug traffickers hanged in Singapore, AFP, 26 Jan at 9.56am

Singapore has hanged two convicted African drug traffickers after their appeals for clemency were turned down, according to the Central Narcotics Bureau said.

Iwuchukwu Amara Tochi, 21, of Nigeria, and 35-year-old Okeke Nelson Malachy, who Amnesty International said was believed to be from South Africa, were sent to the gallows at Changi Prison.

The narcotics bureau in a statement said Malachy was stateless.

Tochi was arrested on November 27, 2004, at Singapore’s Changi Airport while attempting to smuggle 727.02 grams (more than 25 ounces) of heroin, while Malachy was charged for “having abetted the commission of the offence.”

Under Singapore’s tough anti-drug laws, the death penalty is mandatory for anyone caught trafficking more than 15 grams of heroin, 30 grams of cocaine or 500 grams of cannabis.

“The appeals of both Tochi and Malachy to the Court of Appeal and to the President (S.R. Nathan) for clemency have been turned down. Their sentences were carried out this morning at Changi Prison,” the bureau said. – AFP

Statement by CNB

Iwuchukwu Amara Tochi (Tochi), a 21-year old Nigerian was charged for importing into Singapore a controlled drug under section 7 of The Misuse of Drugs Act (Chapter 185). Okeke Nelson Malachy (Malachy), aged 35, stateless, was charged for having abetted the commission of the offence of importing into Singapore a controlled drug under section 7 read with section 12 of the Misuse of Drugs Act (Chapter 185). The Misuse of Drugs Act provides that the death penalty is mandatory if the amount of diamorphine or pure heroin imported exceeds 15g. Tochi had unlawfully brought into Singapore 727.02g of high grade pure heroin worth about $1.5 million.

The appeals of both Tochi and Malachy to the Court of Appeal and to the President for clemency have been turned down. Their sentences were carried out this morning at Changi Prison.

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Vigil by Reuters 1
Human rights lawyer M. Ravi (R) and opposition Singapore Democratic Party (SDP) member Chee Siok Chin light candles in front of a soccer jersey belonging to Nigerian Iwuchukwu Amara Tochi during a vigil outside Changi Prison in Singapore January 25, 2007. The 21-year-old Nigerian is set to be hanged for drug smuggling in Singapore on Friday morning, despite international protests and a last-minute hunger strike by Singaporean civil rights activists. REUTERS/Nicky Loh (SINGAPORE)

Vigil by Reuters 2
Chee Soon Juan (L), leader of the opposition Singapore Democratic Party (SDP) and human rights lawyer M. Ravi (R) attend a vigil for Nigerian Iwuchukwu Amara Tochi outside Changi Prison in Singapore January 25, 2007. REUTERS/Nicky Loh (SINGAPORE)

Vigil by Reuters 3
A human rights activist takes a picture of candles surrounding Nigerian Iwuchukwu Amara Tochi’s portraits during a vigil outside the Singapore Changi Prison January 26, 2007. Tochi is set to be hanged for drug smuggling in Singapore on Friday morning, despite international protests and a last-minute hunger strike by Singaporean civil rights activists. Nigerian President Olusegun Obasanjo asked the Singapore government on Tuesday to grant a reprieve to Tochi, who was a champion football player in Nigeria according to human rights group, Singapore Anti-Death Penalty Campaign. REUTERS/Nicky Loh (SINGAPORE)

Vigil by Reuters 4
Flowers are placed in front of Nigerian Iwuchukwu Amara Tochi’s portraits during a vigil outside the Singapore Changi Prison January 26, 2007. REUTERS/Nicky Loh (SINGAPORE)

Vigil by Reuters 5
A human rights activist looks at a soccer jersey belonging to Nigerian Iwuchukwu Amara Tochi during a vigil outside the Singapore Changi Prison January 26, 2007. REUTERS/Nicky Loh (SINGAPORE)

Vigil by Reuters 6

Vigil by Reuters 7
A human rights activist places a flower in front of a soccer jersey belonging to Nigerian Iwuchukwu Amara Tochi during a vigil outside the Singapore Changi Prison January 26, 2007. REUTERS/Nicky Loh (SINGAPORE)

Vigil by Reuters 8
Human rights activists sit in front of a soccer jersey belonging to Nigerian Iwuchukwu Amara Tochi during a vigil outside the Singapore Changi Prison January 26, 2007. REUTERS/Nicky Loh (SINGAPORE)

More photos of the hunger strike & vigil