BY NWABUEZE OKONKWO
ONITSHA – The family of Mr Daniel Asadu, a Nigerian who was recently condemned to death in far away Republic of China for allegedly committing drug related offences in the Asian country, has sent a passionate appeal to President Goodluck Jonathan to intervene and save him from execution.
They suggested that Jonathan should use his good offices to persuade his Chinese counterpart to grant a presidential pardon to their son who is said to be already on the death row waiting for hangman’s noose
In a Save Our Soul, SOS message forwarded to Jonathan by Daniel’s elder brother, Columbus, the family said they believed that there would be no other saving grace for Daniel except if President Jonathan would mount pressure on his Chinese counterpart to save his life.
The SOS which was accompanied by strongly worded petition, further explained that Daniel was so much loved and cherished by his mother and as such she could not withstand any news that her son was dead or has been executed by the Chinese authorities, adding that his family remained helpless as it was a case across international borders.
According to the petition, “time is running out for Daniel, a bonafide son of Anambra state of Nigeria who is now facing death sentence in China over alleged passport forgery and drug trafficking offences”.
The SOS recalled that Daniel was arrested by the Chinese security operatives in 2009 on allegation of drug-related offences and was recently sentenced to death in Guangzhou and is expected to be hanged any moment from now, except if any quick intervention could come from the presidency.
It was gathered that Daniel was arrested together with three Chinese women for the alleged offences as well as being an illegal immigrant in China.
His counsel in Gunagzhou, Mr Liu Shuhua was quoted as saying that Asadu made a confessional statement to the security agents in China that he was the one that sent a Chinese girl to pick a bag for him which was alleged to have contained items and drugs inside it.
In a letter addressed to Daniels’s brother, Columbus dated December, 28, 2009, Mr Shuhua had disclosed that the case against Daniel was a difficult one based on the fact that the convict had confessed that he was the one that sent for the bag suspected to have contained the substance said to be hard drugs.
Daniel’s lawyer, according to the statement, said that Daniel said he made the statement under duress, having been forced by the Chinese police to make it at gun-point. The lawyer had pleaded with the judge to temper justice with mercy.
“I went to Haikou and checked all the files and found out that for three times, Asadu confessed that he instructed the girl to fetch the bags. And this time, he asked the girl to carry the two bags from four other persons now at large, said the lawyer, adding, I also copied the recordings of the messages between the girl and Asadu. I talked with the judge and he told me that the case will be decided on the evidence”.
The family protested that Daniel had been condemned to death by the Chinese government even as he was charged and tried in Chinese language, arguing that he does not understand Chinese language as to use it to defend himself.