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Thursday, 30 April 2015

House of Reps Speakership: Why Jibrin Should Be Considered, by Oludare Ogunlana



House of Reps Speakership: Why Jibrin Should Be Considered.

 As the race for who becomes the speaker of the federal house of representatives gathers momentum, there is a great need for the 360 lawmakers to be clinically careful because whatever they do today will directly affect not only the future of their immediate constituents but the country at large.  Dr. Abdumumini Jibrin promises transparency, modesty, prudence and e-parliamentary system that will enable Nigerians home and abroad to have say in the business of National Assembly.

Though it is good for all regions and ethnic groups that make up the country to be represented in the governance of any nation but, however, anytime the issue of zoning of political positions is brought to the fore, those who merit it don't normally get it; rather mediocrity takes the place of meritocracy. And this has not helped us to developed as a nation.

More importantly, Nigerians and particularly the incoming administration of the All Progressives Congress (APC) should be careful about zoning. If zoning had been followed by the outgoing 7th Assembly lawmakers, Speaker Aminu Waziri Tambuwal would not have emerged to provide the needed opposition roles which acted as checks and balances to activities of the executive.

There may be those who don't know Jibrin, from primary to university level, he attended public schools. He is an alumnus of both the University of Abuja and the Ahmadu Bello University Zaria, an experience which has afforded him the knowledge of grassroots politics; the people's needs, aspirations and challenges. His unquenchable thirst for knowledge has taken him to the London, Harvard and Swiss Business Schools and the implication of this is that he has been intellectually and psychologically equipped with world-class ideas to solve the everyday problems of our people and our country.

Another reason why he should be considered as the speaker of the lower chamber of the national assembly, apart from his educational training and legislative experience, is his rich local and international experience.

A first term lawmaker in 2011, his colleagues were quick to see the leadership traits in him and he was made chairman of a choice committee; finance since. As leader of such sensitive committee, he became more acquainted deeply with the knowledge of public finance and Nigeria's economy. It is precisely such depth of experience a speaker must possess, at this critical time when Nigeria requires deep and far-reaching economic reform to weather the turmoil of declining global oil prices

Under his leadership, the House raised the bar of oversight over the Nigerian economy; improved the quality of Medium Term Expenditure Framework (MTEF) analysis and national revenue framework preparation and monitoring; brought to public consciousness the issue of Internally Generated Revenue as a result of which projections increased from N228billion in 2011 to N452billion in 2014. More importantly, as a direct result of the committee’s work, over N150billion was collected by the Federal Government within 4 months while there is an increase in non-oil projections by the FIRS from N828Billion in 2011 to N2.003trillion in 2014 through oversight over the FIRS, particularly by ensuring tax compliance by various corporations.

Apart from the steady reduction of domestic borrowing projections from N852billion in 2011 to N571billion in 2014 leading to the freeing up funds for the real sector, his committee provided the necessary support to statutory revenue generating agencies and ensured that there is increase in projections and remittances despite all the challenges year in year out. And in addition to these, he has chaired and co-chaired lots of parliamentary investigations.

No doubt, Jibrin represents all those qualities Nigeria and Nigerians yearn for. If considered as the speaker, I am pretty sure that the lawmakers would be able to continue from where the 7th Assembly stopped by promoting transparency in governance; encourage National assembly to slash their bogus allowances which has attracted a lot of criticism within and outside Nigeria

His youthfulness, level of his education and exposure put him ahead of others apart from the fact that his manifesto is second to none as he has promised three fundamental things in his declaration speech; transparency, reduction of overhead cost and inculcate international best practices to how the national assembly is run.

Oludare Ogunlana,
A Public Analyst writes from Ibadan.

The views expressed in this article are the author's own and do not necessarily reflect NUJ Europe  editorial policy

Behold! The Pictures of Freed Hostages Released by Nigeria Army
NUJE Europe can authoritatively report that some pictures of girls and women  rescued from Sambisa Forest are being released by the Nigeria Army headquarters.
 The freed hostages are currently undergoing screening while proper identification excercise are still ongoing.  NujeNews crew gathered that all the hostages are being treated clinically as part of the screening which involve psychological and medical support. Europe reported that while their counterpart Niger and Camerounian soldiers in joint operations were defeating Boko Haram insurgents in some remote part of the North-east borders, Nigeria army, in her daring and brazen millitary approaches, have been recording successes in the series of onslaught operations to thwart the Boko Haram base, signalling high hopes that more captives would be freed from the Sambisa Forest.

The Nigerian military has moved the 293 females they rescued two days ago from Sambisa Forest to the University of Maiduguri Teaching Hospital where they are to undergo series of test including HIV and pregnancy test. According to a military source who spoke to Punch, 7 of the girls rescued had gunshot wounds and are being treated at the hospital. The 200 girls rescued are of between ages 13 and 18 years.
 Check back for more details. Click here for more detail

Read Also: Nigeria Army Rescued Another Over 160 Hostages 

 Courtesy of NUJ Europe

Report by  By Lashley Oladigbolu

Nigerian Army Rescue Over 160 More Hostages !


Nigerian troops have rescued about 160 more hostages from Boko Haram’s Sambisa Forest stronghold in northeast Nigeria, the country’s army said today.
“We are still trying to compute the actual number of those rescued. But tentatively there are about 60 women of various ages and around 100 children,” said army spokesman Sani Usman.
Usman said one woman was killed in the fighting and eight other rescued hostages were injured. A soldier was also killed and four others wounded.
The latest rescue comes after the military said on Tuesday it had found 200 girls and 93 women kidnapped by the militants and held in the forest.
Usman has said the former hostages did not include the 219 girls snatched from their school on April 14 last year but Nigeria’s defence headquarters said it was too early to tell.
The mass kidnapping from Chibok, in Borno state, prompted global outrage and forced President Goodluck Jonathan to accept international help in the search operation for the missing girls.
The former hostages from the latest rescue and those freed on Tuesday have been taken out of the Sambisa Forest area, where it was thought that the Chibok girls were initially taken.
They were being screened to determine their identities, as well as when and where they were kidnapped.
Mass kidnapping of women and young girls, as well as the forced conscription of men and young boys, have been a feature of the brutal six-year Boko Haram insurgency.
Amnesty International said earlier this month that more than 2,000 women and girls have been abducted since the beginning of last year and subject to forced labour, sexual and psychological abuse.
Former hostages have also described being forced to fight on the front line alongside Boko Haram fighters.
A military source indicated that the women in this week’s rescues were used as human shields against the military operations, in some cases firing back at soldiers.
Usman said in a statement issued late yesterday that troops from the army’s 7th Division cleared several “terrorist training camps” during the operation and seized equipment and vehicles

Neighbour Countries Should Stop Migrants Flow Into South Africa -Mugabe

Zimbabwe's President Robert Mugabe speaks during a press briefing at the Union building in Pretoria, April 8, 2015. Mugabe is on a two-day state visit to South Africa.  REUTERS/Siphiwe Sibeko
1 of 1Full Size
By MacDonald Dzirutwe
HARARE (Reuters) - Other African nations should stop their citizens from migrating to South Africa to prevent violence against foreigners, Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe on Wednesday
A wave of anti-immigrant violence in South Africa has claimed seven lives in Durban and Johannesburg over the past four weeks. The South African government has deployed troops to stop the fighting.
After a summit of the Southern African Development Community (SADC) called to discuss industrialisation in southern Africa, Mugabe told reporters that South African President Jacob Zuma had briefed regional leaders on the violence.
Zuma told the meeting that his government would educate its citizens to be tolerant of foreigners and would keep its security forces on alert to prevent future attacks.
"I was suggesting that we, the neighbours, must do what we can to prevent more people going into South Africa. If we can do it, we can then try to get those in South Africa home," said Mugabe, the current SADC chairman.
"So people should get back to their own countries. It's not just one for South Africa to resolve but for us, we the neighbouring countries, to resolve. Our people should not have the instinct of rushing into South Africa."
An estimated one million Zimbabweans live in South Africa, after fleeing economic crisis and political violence at home over the last 15 years.
Mugabe said his government had brought 800 of its citizens back from Durban, but most of them had indicated they planned to return to South Africa, Zimbabwe's biggest trading partner.
"The people who are described as influx into South Africa are not pushed by governments," said Mugabe, who has ruled the former British colony since independence in 1980. "They are people who voluntarily go to South Africa. They think South Africa is the heaven, our heaven in southern Africa."
Periodic outbreaks of anti-immigrant violence have been blamed on high unemployment in South Africa. The official jobless rate is around 25 percent although economists say is much higher.

Mugabe concurred, saying the living standards of black South Africans were low and that the migrants "who think there is heaven in South Africa and decide to go to South Africa, they make the situation of the Africans there worse."

Wednesday, 29 April 2015


Goodluck Ebele Jonathan

President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan has approved the appointment of Alhaji Sanusi Lamido Ado Bayero as the Managing Director of the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA).
Alhaji Sanusi, a lawyer, from Kano State takes over from Mallam Habib Abdullahi who has been relieved of his appointment as Managing Director of the NPA.
The appointment of the new NPA Managing Director takes effect from tomorrow, Thursday, April 30 2015.
President Jonathan thanks the outgoing Managing Director for his services and wishes him well in his future endeavours. 
Reuben Abati
Special Adviser to the President
(Media & Publicity)
April 29, 2015 

Buhari Joins Jonathan to Charge Military as Rescued 293 females undergo screening!

While President Goodluck Jonathan maintains confidence of the military in the final onslaught against Boko Haram, the President-elect Gen Muhamadu Buhari simultaneously  expresses hope and delight for the rescue of all people captured and commended Nigerian military over the rescue of the abductees.
General (rtd) Buhari  disclosed this via his Twitter handle monitored by NUJ Europe on Wednesday.
"News of the rescue of captured girls fills me with great delight. Many more remain to be set free. Our troops must not relent"
Buhari stated.

NUJ Europe investigation reveals that the public would need to wait for a few hours  and perhaps days to allow proper identification and official  announcement until the relatives of the abductees arrive Defence Headquarters before ascertain the identities of the rescued females just as the Nigeria military already commenced identification exercise on Wednesday.

 It has been gathered that the Borno State government disclosed to newsman on Wednesday that all 293 rescued women and girls from Sambisa Forest are indigenes of Bumsiri Village of Damboa Local Government in the state, dousing hopes that some could be the Chibok girls abducted on April 14, 2014.

The state’s commissioner of Information, Mohammed Bulama, has confirmed the latest discovery on Tuesday while briefing reporters on the development.

Some 200 girls and 93 women held hostage in Sambisa Forest, a major stronghold of the Boko Haram terrorists group, were rescued by troops in a mission to clear the Forest of all terrorists. The military headquarters are still profiling their identities as at the time of this report.

Mr Bulama however said that that the rescued persons would be reunited with their parents soon.

NUJ Europe reported that during a military operation to wrest back the Sambisa Forest in the northeast from the militant group, 293 females were rescued by Nigerian troops as announced by Defence Headquarters via its Twitter account.
Nigerian troops rescued 200 girls and 93 women Tuesday in the Sambisa Forest in the northeastern part of the country, the Nigerian Armed Forces announced on its official Twitter account. The forest is a stronghold for the militant Boko Haram group and is not far from Chibok.

General Chris Olukolade said the rescued girls and women are still being screened and none has spoken to their families yet.
"The troops rescued 200 abducted girls and 93 women," Colonel Sani Usman was also reported to have informed the press on Tuesday. They were not, however, from Chibok, the village from which more than 200 girls were abducted in April 2014, he said.

Campaigners are now divided in opinions that holistic efforts should rather be made to end Boko Haram scourge, while the crusaders of #Bringbackourgirls have again voiced their concerns that Nigeria military need more to find the 219 still missing girls from Chibok.
Mrs Obi Ezekwesili a one of the leading frontrunners of the Campaign told a local news TV that “It is a great news at this particular time. We are hopeful that his news will be for real and that the Chibok girls will be among those rescued after they have been profiled”.
Further, Ezekwesili said that some parents of the Chibok girls were already on their way to see the rescued 200 girls.

Mr Ohimia Godwin Amaeze, the spokesman for Minister of Foreign Affairs II, a Nigerian government official said "Boko Haram has always been bigger than one kidnapping event. The bigger picture is and should have been ending Boko Haram." stated,  Ohia via his twitter handle
"So far, they (the army) have destroyed and cleared Sassa, Tokumbere and two other camps in the general area of Alafa, all within the Sambisa forest."
Boko Haram's action in Chibok caused an international outcry, and the group's six-year insurgency has seen thousands killed and many more abducted.

Rawya Ragey a broadcast journalist for one of the major global media giants expressed the hope for the rescue of the many captives of Boko Haram.
  She commented via her verified Twitter handle : @RawyaRageh  "Whether or not the rescued girls, women are #ChibokGrils - for 293 souls to be freed from #BokoHaram is good news #Nigeria"

Diplomats and intelligence officials said they believed at least some of the Chibok girls were being held in the forest about 100 km (60 miles) from Chibok, although U.S. reconnaissance drones failed to find them.
The rescued girls and women will be screened on Wednesday to determine whether they had been abducted or if they were married to the militants, one intelligence source told Reuters.

Speaking in an interview on Channels Television, during a daily breakfast show, Sunrise Daily on Wednesday, Colonel Stan-Labo a security expert said it is a welcome development to all.

He noted that the military should be given break to sort out the rescued Boko Haram victims, in order to know the number of Chibok girls among them.
The security expert further said Nigerians should recall that it was not only the Chibok girls that were held captive, adding that the girls for now, serve as the picture of all captives of the terrorist group.

Some of the girls were injured, and some of the militants killed, he said without giving more details.
The group was rescued from camps "discovered near or on the way to Sambisa," one army official said.

Nigerian forces backed by warplanes invaded the vast former colonial game reserve late last week as part of a push to win back territory from Boko Haram.
The group, notorious for violence against civilians, controlled an area roughly the size of Belgium at the start of the year but has since been beaten back by Nigerian troops, backed by Chad, Niger and Cameroon.

While the Nigerian army maintains the group is now hemmed in Sambisa Forest, militants have managed to launch attacks in the neighbourhood including chasing soldiers out of Marte town and an island on Lake Chad.

Eschew Frivolities; Prepare for governance-Labour Party Tells APC

Commends APC for Stopping Buhari attempts to gag the media;

Recruitment into Civil Service not a political affairs;

Labour Party tells APC.

The Labour Party has condemned the recent claim by the All Progressives Congress (APC) that the Jonathan Administration is selling government properties and carrying out fresh recruitment into the civil service. This is contained in a statement issued on Tuesday by the National Secretary of the party, Barrister Kayode Ajulo.
According to Barrister Ajulo, "It is quite unfortunate that a party that should be more interested in strategizing on how to transform its campaign promises to reality is busy chasing shadows and pursuing frivolities and mediocre propaganda. In today's world concocted claims are no more in vogue. If the APC or any other group and their hirelings have evidence of wrong-doings on the part of the out-going government of President Jonathan it is rather more Honourable to produce or publish such instead of engaging in slanderous and baseless accusation."
The statement reads inter alia.
"We are particularly miffed by such claim that Jonathan's government is recruiting workers. The first question that should interest all is: are the people being employed not Nigerians? Secondly, are they not qualified for the posts? And lastly, is due process not being followed? This is important because the APC needs to be reminded that government and the civil service is a continuum and there is no reason why government activities, including recruitment exercises should be halted simply because there is going to be a change of baton."

"We are equally worried that such baseless claims could actually be basis for retrenchment of workers in public service when the APC government takes over come May 29. If anything at all, Nigerians are expecting the APC government to create more jobs and also improve the conditions of Nigerian workers. There should be no excuse to short-change the Nigerian workers and the ordinary masses in anyway. APC did not promise Nigerians austerity and lack of jobs. It gave hope to the people, and this is the time to reap. That is not miracle. That is the only way Nigerians can make meaning out of the so-called common sense revolution. "
The statement further called on the President-elect and his aides to show respect for freedom of speech and exhibit tolerance.
"We condemn in totality the attempt to gag AIT as this is seen as a dress rehearsal to bring the dreaded and infamous Decree 4 into our jurisprudence once again"
"The extant Constitution is clear on the freedom given to our media as well as other Nigerians"
"Labour Party commends the APC for quickly rising to the occasion to correct the unedifying ban on the coverage of the President-elect activities by Africa Independent Television (AIT), it is clear from unfolding events that a lot still needs to be done to transform the dictator of yesteryears to a modern democrat. The signs are big and bold and must not be left to fester untrammeled. The freedom of speech enjoyed by Nigerians under President Jonathan cannot be traded off for whatever other goodies "change fever" promises. Nigerians need to be on their toes." The statement concluded.

Tuesday, 28 April 2015

How Nigerian Army rescued 293 Girls and Women Captured by Boko Haram

Nigerian Troops stormed Sambisa, on Tuesday and rescued 293 females..
By Lashley Oladigbolu

President Goodluck Jonathan on a recent visit to men of the Nigerian Army launching 'Final Onslaught' against Boko Haram Terrorists
Amidst precise but daring operations nicknamed #NeverAgain Nigerian troops have rescued 200 girls and 93 women in the Sambisa Forest, the Nigerian Armed Forces announced on its official Twitter account.
It reads among others:
"@DefenceInfoNG: #Sambisa Forest: The freed persons are now being screened and profiled. We will bring you details later. /3

 See Pictures of Abductees Released Later 
The armed forces could not immediately confirm if any of the rescued girls were among the 200 schoolgirls the militant group Boko Haram kidnapped in April 2014 from the northeastern Nigerian village of Chibok. That abduction led to a social media movement, #BringBackOurGirls, to rescue them.
Nigerian troops also captured and destroyed three terrorist camps, the armed forces said.
Boko Haram is a militant terrorist group. The name translates to "Western education is sin" in the local Hausa language.
Also at least 21 people  were killed by suspected members of dreaded Boko Haram in Marguba community and other surrounding villages of Beneshiekh, the headquarters of Kaga local government area of Borno state.
It was  gathered that at least three major terrorists camps have been destroyed in the well-cordinated attacks that include the destruction of the notorious Tokumbere camp in the Sambisa Forest.
While confirming the operation the Director Defence Information, Major General Chris Olukolade said he could not confirm the identity of the freed victims and their origins and he could not state if any of them was from Chibok until after thorough screening and proper investigations.
United Nations aptly supporting African Union in her proposed standing multinational 8,000 troops to fight terrorisms and protect the continent.

He said: “I can only confirm the rescued this afternoon of 200 girls and 93 women in different camps in the forest. We are yet to determine their origin as all the freed persons are now being screened and profiled. Please don’t misquote me on their origin. We will provide more details later.”
Over 200 Chibok  school girls abducted by Boko Haram stirred global campaign

Notorious Boko Haram ringleader, Shekau Abubarka reported to be 'killed' few times ago.
At least 17 people and five others were killed by suspected members of dreaded Boko Haram in Marguba community and other surrounding villages of Beneshiekh, the headquarters of Kaga local government area of Borno state.
Belingerent Nigerian Army in one of their manouvres in the areas reclaimed
The insurgents according to sources also injured many residents after setting ablaze several houses mostly thatched roofs before looting foodstuff and livestock.
Beneshiekh is north west and about 76 kilometers drive from Maiduguri, the state capital. It is located on the fringes of Sambisa forest along Maiduguri- Damaturu-Kano road which have witnessed series of deadly attacks by insurgents.

In Borno, on April 14 of last year.
Fifty-seven girls escaped within hours of the attack but 219 remained in captivity.
In the weeks following the mass abduction, Nigerian security sources and locals in Borno said there were indications the girls had been taken to the Sambisa Forest.
But defence officials and experts agreed they were likely separated over the last 13 months, casting significant doubt on the possibility they were being held together as a group.
Chibok Girls Rescued
Boko Haram’s leader, Abubakar Shekau, vowed to “marry them off” or sell them as slaves.
The Chibok attack brought unprecedented world attention to the Nigeria’s Islamist uprising.
Celebrities and prominent personalities including US First Lady Michelle Obama joined the Twitter campaign #BringBackOurGirls that attracted supporters worldwide.
But Boko Haram has also been blamed for hundreds of other kidnappings, especially targeting women and girls across north-east Nigeria.

Read Also: How Nigerian Military Prepare The Final Onslaught Against Boko Haram

Who Are The 4 Nigerians Among 8 People Executed by Indonesia ?

These are the eight people executed by Indonesia.

As well as the two Australian ringleaders of the Bali Nine drug smuggling ring, Indonesia executed four Nigerian men, one man from Brazil and one Indonesian. A Philippines woman was spared.

    Top row from left: Australians Myuran Sukumaran and Andrew Chan, Filipina Mary Jane Veloso and Nigerian Martin Anderson. Bottom row from left: Nigerians Raheem Agbaje Salami, Silvester Obiekwe Nwolise, Brazilian Rodrigo Gularte, and Frenchman Serge Atlaoui, who has been given a temporary reprieve.
     Top row from left: Australians Myuran Sukumaran and Andrew Chan, Filipina Mary Jane Veloso and Nigerian Martin Anderson. Bottom row from left: Nigerians Raheem Agbaje Salami, Silvester Obiekwe Nwolise, Brazilian Rodrigo Gularte, and Frenchman Serge Atlaoui, who has been given a temporary reprieve. Photograph: AFP/Getty Images

    Read the Guardian Newspaper Full Reports below:

    Martin Anderson
    Anderson was sentenced to death in 2004 after being found guilty of possessing about 50g (1.8oz) of heroin. The 50-year-old travelled to Indonesia on a false passport and was thought to be Ghanian, but is in fact – like three of his fellow prisoners – from Nigeria.
    He was reportedly shot in the leg during his arrest. His lawyer told the media that he has been in poor spirits since being moved to Nusa Kambangan to face execution.
    Raheem Agbaje Salami (also known asJamiu Owolabi Abashin)
    Abashin, 50, has said he was homeless in Bangkok when a new “friend” offered him $400 to take some clothes to Indonesia. He was arrested in Surabaya with 5.5kg (12lb) of heroin and originally sentenced, in 1999, to life in prison.
    The sentence was changed to one of death in 2006. In an appeal for presidential clemency, Abashin admitted he had known he was carrying the drugs. His appeal was unsuccessful.
    Silvester Obiekwe Nwolise
    Nwolise, 47, was convicted in 2002 of smuggling just over a kilogram of heroin into Indonesia. He was sentenced to death.
    His wife said he believed he was carrying tablets – which he swallowed – containing goat horn powder for some Nigerian friends in Pakistan. She also said he had no translator during his trial, and there are allegations that a bribe was sought to spare him a death sentence.
    Okwuduli Oyatanze
    Oyatanze, 41, was sentenced to death in 2002, found guilty of attempting to bring 2.5kg of heroin through Jakarta in capsules inside his stomach.
    Charles Burrows, a Catholic priest who has counselled Oyatanze in prison, says that the Nigerian man, following the collapse of his clothing company, had thought being a drugs mule would be “easy money”.
    Zainal Abidin
    Abidin, 50, an Indonesian, was moved to Nusa Kambangan in preparation for execution despite still having an appeal due to be heard by the courts. He was convicted in 2001 of being the ringleader of a plan to sell marijuana, which he denies.
    Two men convicted with Abidin, who he claims were the real masterminds of the ring, have served prison sentences and are now free.
    Serge Atlaoui
    Atlaioui, from France, was due to be executed this week, but his sentence has been delayed pending a legal challenge. He was arrested for working in a factory used to produce ecstasy. He claims he was working as a welder and was unaware of the illegal activity.

    Indonesia executed eight prisoners condemned to death for drugs offences. A ninth was given a last-minute reprieve.

    Mary Jane Veloso (reprieved)

    Veloso, aged 30, from the Philippines, was arrested in Yogyakarta, Indonesia, in 2010 and found to be carrying a suitcase packed with 2.2kg (5lb) of heroin. Painted in court as a knowing drugs courier, she was sentenced to death. But her supporters say that poverty had made her susceptible to people traffickers, who promised her a job as a maid in Malaysia but instead made her an unwitting drugs mules.

    On Tuesday the woman who recruited Veloso for that job, Maria Kristina Sergio, “voluntarily surrendered” to police in the Philippines province of Nueva Ecija. She was wanted on charges of illegal recruitment and human trafficking.
    An intervention by the Philippines president, Benigno Aquino raised hopes that his Indonesian counterpart, Joko Widodo, might be sympathetic to her case. However, the attorney general said the execution would go ahead.
    Veloso has two sons, aged 12 and six. Her sister, Marites Veloso-Laurente, said their mother had had to explain to them “If Mumma does not go home, just think Mumma is in heaven.”

    Andrew Chan

    Chan was arrested in Denpasar in April 2005, on a flight bound for Australia. A 22-year-old still living with his parents in western Sydney, he was carrying no drugs, but was found guilty, along with Myuran Sukumaran, of masterminding a drug smuggling ring and recruiting seven other Australians – the so-called Bali Nine. He was found guilty and sentenced to death by firing squad.
    In his time on Indonesia’s death row, those who have been in contact with him say he is an utterly changed man. Now 31, he has become a committed Christian and a pastor, and spends much of his day in prayer or religious study, and counselling other prisoners.
    On the eve of his execution Chan married his Indonesian girlfriend, Febyanti Herewila, in a ceremony on Nusa Kambangan, the prison island where he awaits the firing squad. His brother, Michael Chan, described leaving him after a final visit on Tuesday as “torture”.

    Myuran Sukumaran

    Arrested with Chan in 2005, Sukumaran, then 24, had also been living with his parents in Sydney, working in a mailroom. In his time in prison, he has become an accomplished artist, and his final painting – a heart dripping with blood, signed by all nine condemned prisoners – was removed from Nusa Kambangan by Indonesian officials on Tuesday.
    Chinthu Sukumaran, brother of Myuran, who spoke of behalf of his family after returning from Nusa Kambanang for what is expected to be the final time, said: “We did talk about the death penalty and he knows this is just a waste. He knows this is not going to solve anything with drugs.
    “Drug trafficking will still be there. If these nine people die today, tomorrow, next week, next month, it is still not going to stop anything. I ask the president to please show mercy. Please don’t let my mum and my sister have to bury my brother. Please, I ask the Indonesian people to show mercy.”

    The final painting by Myuran Sukumaran.
     The final painting by Myuran Sukumaran. Photograph: Roni Bintang/AAPIMAGE

    The writing at the back reads, “satu hati, satu rasa di dalam cinta” (one heart, one feeling in love), and is signed by the death-row inmates.
     The writing at the back reads, “satu hati, satu rasa di dalam cinta” (one heart, one feeling in love), and is signed by the death-row inmates. Photograph: Roni Bintang/AAPIMAGE

    Rodrigo Gularte

    Rodrigo Gularte, who has twice been diagnosed with schizophrenia, is set to be the second Brazilian to be shot by firing squad in Indonesia this year.
    The Brazilian foreign ministry has declared the death sentence “unacceptable” and “contrary to the common sense and basic standards of human rights protection” in a letter sent on Monday to the government in Jakarta.
    Gularte, who is from a wealthy family in the state of ParanĂ¡ , was arrested at Jakarta airport in 2004 with 6kgs of cocaine secreted in a surfboard.
    His lawyers have argued unsuccessfully that his history of mental illness made him unfit to stand trial. Gularte was first diagnosed with a mental illness in 1982, according to medical documents obtained by his legal team. Last year, doctors confirmed the schizophrenia diagnosis. Indonesia’s attorney general ordered a second opinion from police doctors, but this has not been made public, prompting criticism of the lack of transparency.
    His cousin Angelita Muxfeldt , who is in Indonesia, said Gularte has asked to be buried in Brazil. “I’ve been here for three months and never seen Rodrigo so calm,” she told the domestic media.
    Source: The Guardian UK 's Newspaper

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