Nigeria expresses 'deep disappointment' at Indonesia executions

 Nigeria expresses 'deep disappointment' at Indonesia executions
The family of Philippine death row prisoner Mary Jane Veloso arrive at the port to take a ferry to the prison island of Nusakambangan in Central Java, Indonesia

ABUJA - Nigeria on Wednesday expressed "deep disappointment" at the execution by firing squad of four of its citizens for drugs offences in Indonesia and offered its condolences to the men's families.

"The Federal Government of Nigeria has received with deep disappointment news of the execution of four Nigerians, Messrs Martin Anderson, Okwudili Oyatanze, Jamiu Abashin and Sylvester Obiekwe by the government of Indonesia for drug-related offences," a statement read.

The four men were executed early Wednesday along with two convicts from Australia, one from Brazil and an Indonesian, despite repeated appeals for mercy from foreign governments and the men's families.

Abuja said President Goodluck Jonathan and Foreign Minister Aminu Wali had made "spirited appeals for clemency", most recently at an Asian-African summit in the Indonesian capital Jakarta last week.

In the face of a storm of international criticism, Indonesia has defended its actions, saying they were a key part of its "war on drugs".

There had been confusion about the nationalities of the four Africans, with Nigeria's National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) saying last week that Anderson was Ghanaian.

Abashin meanwhile was also known as Raheem Agbaje Salami, according to the NDLEA, and was travelling on a Spanish passport when he was arrested with heroin in his suitcase at the airport in Surabaya, Indonesia's second-largest city, in September 1998.

Obiekwe, 49, also used the name Nwolise.

The Nigerian government expressed its condolences to the men's families but also warned its nationals "to desist from drug trafficking and other offences that attract maximum punishment in several countries of the world".

The death penalty is legal in Nigeria and the men's cases have not attracted the same level of interest and outrage as in other countries where the punishment is outlawed.

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