January 19, 2015 / 10:39 AM / 3 years ago

Nigeria summons Indonesian ambassador over drug execution

ABUJA (Reuters) - Nigeria has summoned Indonesia's ambassador over the execution of two of its citizens by firing squad for drug trafficking, echoing protests from Brazil and the Netherlands which also each had one of their nationals executed.

The southeast Asian country executed six people very early on Monday, including one Indonesian and nationals from Nigeria, Malawi, Vietnam, the Netherlands and Brazil, the Jakarta government said.

Indonesia initially said two Nigerians were among those executed, and the Nigerian statement also spoke of two, but Jakarta later suggested only one Nigerian had been shot.

"The Federal Government has received with huge disappointment the tragic news of the execution by firing squad of two Nigerians," foreign ministry spokesman Ogbole Amedu Ode said in a statement on Monday, naming both men.

"The executions were carried out despite persistent pleas for clemency ... The Federal Government seizes this opportunity to express its sympathy and condolences to the families of the deceased."

Brazil and the Netherlands recalled their ambassadors on Sunday to protest over the planned executions. Neither country has the death penalty and both have spoken out against the practice.

Nigeria, which summoned Indonesia's envoy on Sunday, does have the death penalty, although usually for more serious offences than drug trafficking.

According to Cornell Law School run website Death Penalty Worldwide, Nigeria had 1,233 people on death row by September 2013. At least 141 death sentences were carried out in Nigeria that year, it says.

Last month, a military court sentenced 54 Nigerian soldiers to death by firing squad for mutiny.

In Nigeria's largely Muslim north, some states since the turn of the millennium have practiced Sharia or Islamic law, which in theory allows them to stone people to death, although none have yet carried out this penalty.

Indonesia's president, who signed off on the six executions last month, has pledged no clemency for drug offenders.

The southeast Asian country resumed executions in 2013 after a five-year gap.

Reporting by Camillus Eboh; Writing by Tim Cocks; Editing by Gareth Jones

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