MALAYSIA: 4 NIGERIANS CHARGED WITH DRUG TRAFFICKING SPARED THE GALLOWS
December 15, 2021:
Four Nigerians, including two former students, on 13 December 2021 escaped the gallows in two separate appeals before the Court of Appeal for drug trafficking. (Source: Free Malaysia Today, 13/12/2021)
In the first case involving trader Chris Christian and former students Mbachu Stephen Chibuzo and Mbuga Vincent, they even declined an offer by the prosecution to reduce their charges to possession.
Judge Kamaludin Md Said, who led a three-member panel after hearing submissions, said there was merit in their appeal to warrant an acquittal.
“The conviction by the trial judge is unsafe as there were serious errors of law,” said Kamaludin, who sat with M Gunalan and Hashim Hamzah.
The trio are alleged to have trafficked in 770gm of methamphetamine in front of a restaurant at Jalan Danau Kota in Wangsa Maju, Kuala Lumpur, at about 5.50pm on 16 June 2017.
They were convicted and sentenced to death by the High Court early last year.
Lawyer Afifuddin Ahmad Hafifi submitted that the trial judge had misdirected herself in law by shifting the burden of proof on the three men when such a requirement was always with the prosecution.
Afifuddin, who was assisted by Hafizuddin Salehuddin, said the prosecution also failed to call or offer four material witnesses when their defence was called.
“The credibility of an agent provocateur to nab the three is also clearly in doubt,” he said, adding that there was a material contradiction between the agent provocateur and two other police officers.
In the second case, businessman Favour Chinedu Atashie was sentenced to 13 years’ jail and ordered to be whipped 10 times for being in possession of 2.75kg of methamphetamine at the KLIA arrival terminal at 11.40pm on 20 July 2014.
He was sentenced to death in 2018 but the prosecution accepted an oral representation on 13 December to have the charge reduced.
The same bench imposed the jail term and whipping after hearing submission on sentencing trends from deputy public prosecutor Nurul Farhana Khalid.
Afifuddin, in mitigation, urged the bench to temper justice with mercy so that Atashie could serve his jail term before being deported home.