A Nigerian, Jonas Chihurumanya, will have every reason to thank his stars for escaping the gallows on Thursday, November 11, after the Federal Court in Malaysia set aside his conviction and death sentence for drug trafficking.
Chihurumanya was arrested for allegedly trafficking 158.3g of methamphetamine in a car park at Jalan Canna at about 12.05am on June 7, 2016.
Consequently, he was charged under Section 398 (1)(a) of the Dangerous Drugs Act (DDA) 1952 and punishable under Section 398(2) of same Act, which carries a death sentence or imprisonment for life with whipping, upon conviction.
He was found guilty and sentenced to death on January 30, 2018, by the Kuching High Court.
His counsel appealed the High Court’s decision to the Court of Appeal but was dismissed on October 23, 2019.
He subsequently approached the Federal Court for an appeal and he was discharged and acquitted by a three-member panel signalling his freedom on Thursday.
Reports had it that the Federal Court discovered that the circumstantial evidence did not irresistibly point towards Chihurumnanya having knowledge of the alleged drugs in the boot of the car he was driving.
In the absence of knowledge, the panel held that the element of possession as required under the law was not established by the prosecution.