Guilty Or Not Guilty: The Sad Story Of A Nigerian On Prolonged Indonesian Death Row

Michael Titus Igweh is a Nigerian on Indonesia’s death row. Report says that Micheal who could be killed any moment from now is still standing his ground that he is not guilty.

His case has attracted the interest of human right groups to re-investigate his claims.

Michael Titus Igweh is a businessman. He imports clothes from Indonesia and sells in Nigeria. The Indonesian authority says that they found about 5.8 kilograms of heroin on him.

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The Nigerian has been in Indonesian prison since 2003. With regards to his initial trial and sentencing, Michael says that he made the confessions under duress.

At the recent re-trial at Tangerang District Court, the Nigerian business man said that he was tortured by the Indonesian authorities to confess to a crime he did not commit.


Michael who broke down in court said he was beaten, electrocuted and threatened with death if he did not comply with their orders.

“I was constantly beaten, and my genitals electrocuted until I was helpless. In fact, I was threatened to be shot.”- Michael Titus Igweh

Human Right activists are urging the authorities to re-verify their facts before proceeding with what could be an unjust verdict.

On that note, Michael’s lawyer, Sitor Situmorang insists that the sentencing by the Indonesian court was flawed. His reason being that his client was judged based on the testimonies of 2 other alleged accomplices who already died in police custody. As such cannot serve as witnesses in the re-trial.

The lawyer finds it rather suspicious that those 2 were healthy when they were arrested. All of a sudden there was news that they died in prison.

“We believe Marlena and Okoloaja gave Michael’s name just so the police would stop torturing them. They were healthy when they were arrested, they had no history of illness, they all just suddenly died while in police custody. We all know what that means.”

“We accepted Michael’s case because we saw it had merit. Out of the many requests from prisoners on Nusakambangan, we only took this.”

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Sitor condemned the rejection of the supreme court to review this case. He bothers that judges would rather stick to an unjust verdict than betray the reputation of a stern judge.

He went on to recall a similar past incident that caused a rift between Indonesia and Brazil. The Asian country disregarded the international call to re-consider the execution of 8 foreign nationals from Nigeria, Australia, Brazil and France by firing squad.

According to Indonesia’s Attorney-General Muhammad Prasetyo the next executions which includes nationals from Nigeria, Zimbabwe and Indonesia itself is around the corner. The death row possibly includes a female prisoner.