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Another Nigerian ‘Sentenced To Death’ In Malaysia For Drug Trafficking, Judges Insist On Mandatory Execution

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KOTA KINABALU: A Nigerian man’s appeal against his conviction and death sentence for trafficking in 1,907.8 grams of syabu six years ago was yesterday dismissed by the Federal Court.

A five-member panel of the Federal Court led by Tan Sri Dato’ Zulkefli Ahmad Makinudin yesterday unanimously rejected the appeal made by Kennedy Okwudili Nnadi, 43, who was convicted under Section 39B (1) (a) of the Dangerous Drugs Act 1952 which provides for the mandatory death sentence by hanging, upon conviction.

The panel, also comprising Chief Judge of Sabah and Sarawak Tan Sri Richard Malanjum, Tan Sri Ahmad Haji Maarop, Tan Sri Hasan Lah and Dato’ Balia Haji Wahi, held that there was no merit in grounds of appeal and affirmed the conviction and sentence of the appellant as passed by the High Court.

Previously, on August 4, 2011, Kennedy was found guilty by the High Court here to trafficking in the drugs at the arrival hall of Terminal Two, Kota Kinabalu International Airport (KKIA) here at 1pm on July 23, 2010.

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Then, his appeal to have his conviction and sentence set aside was also dismissed by the Court of Appeal on March 21, 2013.

Earlier, counsel PJ Perira, who represented the appellant, told the court that the trial judge had breached against the rule of double presumption and that there was no Nigerian translator produced during Kennedy’s trial.

He said that the interpreter should be provided to the appellant, who did not understand English, by the court itself and not by request.

Deputy public prosecutor Dato Ahmad Kamal rebutted that the judge did not use double presumption on the appellant.

He also said that there was an interpreter to translate from Malay to English throughout the proceedings and the appellant understood. Therefore, he prayed for the appeal to be dismissed.

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