Ghanaian sentenced to death in Singapore for drug tafficking

A 20-year-old Ghanaian has been sentenced to death in Singapore for trafficking 2.6 kilograms (5.73 pounds) of cannabis, the Straits Times reported Saturday.

The High Court convicted and sentenced Chijioke Stephen Obioha on Tuesday after a 21-day trial held last year, it said.

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 death penalty is carried out by hanging.

Narcotics officers arrested Obioha in April 2007 following a surveillance operation. He had come to Singapore in 2005 to try out for a football club, the report said.

He was not hired but remained in the city-state working as a middle man for electronics goods dealers. His immigration pass expired in January 2007.

Human rights groups have strongly urged Singapore to abolish the death penalty, but the government maintains that it plays a key role in keeping crime down and is a strong deterrent to organised crime gangs.

In December 2004 Singapore hanged a 25-year-old Australian drug runner Nguyen Tuong Van, despite appeals for clemency by then Prime Minister John Howard.

Two convicted African drug traffickers were put to death in 2007 after their appeals for clemency were turned down and despite protests from the United Nations and rights activists.

Source: AFP

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