“Tochi was crying right up to his last 5 minutes”

February 2, 2007
Singapore Democrats

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Tochi's being lowered into his graveThe funeral service for Amara Tochi was held today, a week after he was hanged by the Singapore Government. A simple Catholic Mass was held for him.

Tochi, a Nigeria was convicted for trafficking diamorphine in Singapore even though trial judge, Mr Kan Ting Chiu, found that “there was no direct evidence that he knew the capsules contained diamorphine.”

Despite protesting his innocence and pleading for his life – he had told lawyer M Ravi who visited him in prison last year: “Please don’t let these people kill me”- Tochi was hanged last Friday together with co-accused, Nelson Malachy.

The executions have caused an international outcry and focused on the mandatory sentence for drug peddlers in Singapore which legal experts say run afoul of international law.

To make matters worse, it was reported on German television that Malachy had testified that Tochi was never aware of carrying the drug. Malachy has taken all the blame and confirmed that Tochi had never been part of the plan but used only as an unsuspecting drug mule.

Tochi's funeral service at the Marymount Convent ChapelAt the funeral today held at the Marymount Concent Chapel, the congregation was told that Tochi was crying during the last five minutes of his life. He asked the priest to pray over him.

At precisely 6 am, his life was cruelly snuffed out just as others of his age are just beginning to take shape.

The casket was closed except for a glass panel through which Tochi’s face was visible. Towards the end of the half hour service, the congregation was asked to pay its last respects by viewing the casket.

A striped scarf adorned the boy’s neck and a golf cap covered the top of his head. He looked much older than a 21-year-old.

At the burial site at Chua Chu Kang cemetery, Tochi’s last rites were performed before his coffin was lowered into the ground. Next to his plot lay Nelson Malachy’s. Malachy’s funeral was held on the day of his execution.

It is a heart-wrenching thought that none of their family or friends were able to see the men when they were in Changi prison and sadder still that their remains are not sent back to those who love them.

Rest in peace, Tochi and Malachy.