A Nigerian man, Jonas Chihurumanya, who was sentenced to death for drug trafficking in Malaysia in 2018, has been given a reprieve after a Federal Court in the Asian country acquitted him of the charges.
The Federal Court, the highest court in the country, on Thursday, set aside Chihurumanya’s conviction and death sentence which was passed on him by the High Court and affirmed by the Court of Appeal in Kuching, Malaysia.
According to court records, Chihurumanya was arrested for allegedly trafficking 158.3g of methamphetamine in a car park at Jalan Canna at about 12.05 am on June 7, 2016.
He was charged under Section 39B (1)(a) of the Dangerous Drugs Act (DDA) 1952 and punishable under Section 39B(2) of same Act, which carries a death sentence or imprisonment for life and with whipping, upon conviction.
He was found guilty and sentenced to death on January 30, 2018, by the Kuching High Court.
However, his defense team appealed the High Court’s decision to the Court of Appeal but was dismissed on October 23, 2019, which subsequently led to the appeal at the Federal Court.
On Thursday, a three-member panel led by Justice Datuk Seri Mohd Zawawi Salleh, with Datuk Nallini Pathmanathan and Datuk Abdul Rahman Sebli, unanimously discharged and acquitted Jonas Chihurumnanya after determining that the lower courts did not take into his defence that he was just a victim of circumstance who was at the wrong place at the wrong time.