Nigerian Man Acquitted of Drug Trafficking in Malaysia

Jonas Chimhurumnaya, a Nigerian man who was condemned to death in 2018 for drug trafficking, has been acquitted in an unusual court decision.

The High Court and the Court of Appeal in Kuching, Malaysia, overturned his conviction and death sentence. On June 7, 2016, Chimhurumnaya was detained in a car park in Jalan Canna for reportedly trafficking 158.3 grams of methamphetamine.

On conviction, he was charged under Section 39B (1)(a) of the Dangerous Drugs Act (DDA) 1952 and punished under Section 39B(2) of the same Act, which imposes a death sentence or life imprisonment with whipping.

The Kuching High Court found him guilty and condemned him to death on January 30, 2018. The judgement of the High Court was appealed to the Court of Appeal, but it was dismissed on October 23, 2019. He then took his case to the Federal Court of Appeal.

After granting his appeal in Zoom proceedings on Thursday, November 11,2021, a three-member panel chaired by Datuk Seri Mohd Zawawi Salleh, Datuk Nallini Pathmanathan, and Datuk Abdul Rahman Sebli unanimously discharged and acquitted Jonas Chimhurumnaya.

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