Former Parliament Speaker Sentenced To 15 Years Imprisonment

An Indonesian court has sentenced former parliament speaker Setya Novanto to 15 years imprisonment for his involvement in a multimillion-dollar corruption case.

Novanto was found guilty of receiving 7.3 million dollars in kickbacks for garnering parliamentary support for a 440-million-dollar government project to issue electronic ID cards.

He was also ordered to pay a fine of 500 million rupiah (36,000 dollars) over the 2011 scheme.

Novanto was then the head of the Golkar party’s parliamentary faction. The ally of President Joko Widodo has denied any wrongdoing.

The seasoned politician was arrested in November by the country’s anti-corruption commission after evading questioning for weeks, claiming ill health.

Prosecutors had sought a 16-year prison sentence for Novanto and demanded that he be barred from holding public office for five years after release.

Novanto had initially ignored summons by the Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) and evaded an arrest attempt in 2018 by disappearing for a day, before being taken to hospital for injuries apparently suffered in a car crash.

Investigators picked him up at the hospital after doctors certified that he was fit for questioning.

KPK said total losses to the state as a result of corruption in the ID card project are estimated at 2.3 trillion rupiah (172 million dollars).


Indonesia Eye More Crude Oil From Nigeria

Indonesia has shown desire to purchase more crude oil from Nigeria, the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation announced on Wednesday.

According to the NNPC, the request was  made by the Head of Economic Affairs of the Indonesian Embassy, Mr. Dwiyatna Widinugraha.

Widinugraha led a team  from his country on a courtesy call on the corporation’s Group Managing Director, Maikanti Baru, at the oil firm’s headquarters in Abuja.

Speaking on the purpose of the visit, Widinugraha commended the NNPC for its support in crude oil supply, which had helped Indonesia to achieve energy sufficiency, adding that the country needed further assistance in the form of increased crude oil allocation.

He said Indonesia, with a population of more than 250 million people, needed about 1.6 million barrels of crude oil daily to meet its burgeoning energy needs as an emerging economy and would love to have a government-to-government arrangement with Nigeria in that regard.

Shedding more light on the mission, the Vice President of Pertamina, the Indonesian National Oil Company, Mr. Anizar Burlian, stated that members of the delegation were in Abuja to thank Nigeria for helping Indonesia to meet its local oil demand and to further explore better arrangements of buying the country’s very high grade crude oil.

“Over the years, we have bought huge amount of crude oil from Nigeria. We are extremely happy to buy more Nigerian crude oil, which is globally rated to be of very high grade and which is very suitable for our refineries,” Burlian was quoted as saying in a statement issued  by the NNPC’s spokesperson, Ndu Ughamadu.

Burlian said members of the delegation were also interested in investment opportunities in the upstream, midstream and downstream sectors of the Nigerian oil industry.

Responding, the Group General Manager, Crude Oil Marketing Division, NNPC, Mr. Mele Kyari, who was represented by Mr. Adokiye Tombomieye, said the corporation would continue to assist Indonesia in the area of crude oil supply, adding that the request for a government-to-government crude supply arrangement should be routed through the office of President Muhammadu Buhari.

On investment, the corporation advised the team to articulate its request in a proposal to enable the NNPC management review it and act accordingly.

Indonesia: FG Pleads Again for Nigerians on Death Row

The Federal Government on Monday pleaded with the government of Indonesia to commute the death penalty passed on Nigerians in the country’s prison, to life imprisonment.

Foreign Affairs Minister Geoffrey Onyeama, made the plea in a joint communique issued at the end of bilateral meeting between the minister and Mrs Retno Marsudi his counterpart from Indonesia.

He said, “on consular issues, Nigeria recognises the drugs emergency situation in Indonesia and pleaded for commuting death penalty to life imprisonment.”

This is not the first time that the government is pleading on behalf of Nigerians on death row in Indonesia.

Available report shows that FG had pleaded so many times for Nigerian on Death row in Indonesia. in May 2012, February 2013, March 2015 and more recently in July 2016 Nigeria sought for clemency for its citizens in Indonesia.

However all pleas fell on deaf ears as Indonesia always goes on to execute the Nigerians citing its strict policy on drugs.

There are about 50 Nigerians serving various jail terms for different offences in Indonesia with about 11 of them on death row

Human Rights organisation, Legal Defence and Assistance Project (LEDAP) had called on the federal government to boost its efforts in fighting for Nigerians on death row in foreign countries.

The organisation stated that no fewer than 300 Nigerians were currently on death row in prisons across Asian countries since 2016.

Statistics at the disposal of LEPAD revealed that 120 Nigerians faced the prospects of death in Chinese prisons, and over 170 in Indonesia, Thailand, Malaysia, Vietnam, and five in Qatar, United Arab Emirate and Saudi Arabia.

The organisation estimated that about 16,500 Nigerians were being held abroad, while most of those on death row were convicted of drug-related crimes.

Onyeama said the two countries agreed to deepen contacts between their respective national Chambers of Commerce and private sector operators with a view to further enhance bilateral trade and investments.

He added that they also agreed on the importance of enhancing the existing cooperation between the two countries.

He said the two countries agreed to simplify bilateral trade through the establishment of a Bonded Logistic Centre in one of Nigeria’s ports that could be used for Indonesian products.

Marsudi had earlier announced her government’s growing interest in promoting mutually beneficial economic relations with Nigeria.

The visiting minister expressed concern that there had been decline in bilateral trade between both countries in the last five years.

She said that her government was prepared to enhance its economic relations with African countries, especially with Nigeria, in the years ahead.

She said that Nigeria and Indonesia have the resources and energies to enhance their areas of cooperation.


141 Arrested In Gay Club Raid

The Indonesian police has detained 141 men in a raid on what authorities described as a gay prostitution ring run from a club in the north of Jakarta, a police spokesman said on Monday.

Police spokesman Argo Yuwono said in a statement those detained had “violated pornography laws”.

He said 10 suspects, including the owner of the club and several staff members, had been charged, while the others were being questioned.

Sunday night’s raid came amid concerns over a backlash against the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community in the world’s largest Muslim-majority country.

Rights activists condemned the raid as a violation of privacy.

“These detentions set a bad precedent for gender and sexual minorities,” Legal Aid Jakarta, a coalition of lawyers and activists, said in a statement.

The group said the men were humiliated by police and many were strip-searched, photographed and marched naked from the venue into police vehicles. Photos were then shared on social media, the group added.


Former Super Eagles Striker Moves To Indonesian Club

Peter Odemwingie has finally secured a club after he signed on for Indonesian Liga 1 side Madura United on Monday.

Former Super Eagles Odemwingie, who has been a free agent since leaving English Championship side Rotherham United in the winter transfer window, was unveiled on Monday by the club.

The 35-year-old who had previously played for Lokomotiv Moscow, West Bromwich Albion, Stoke City and French club Lille will now continue his football journey in Indonesia.

He was part of Nigeria’s squad to the 2014 Fifa World Cup in Brazil and scored Nigeria’s only goal against Bosnia-Herzegovina.

Odemwingie also won silver with Nigeria at the 2008 Beijing Olympics as the Under-23 side were beaten by Argentina in the final.

Details of the deal were not revealed by the club but Odemwingie will wear jersey number 24 in his latest football adventure.

Indonesia Launches anti-Valentine’s Day Condom Raids

Indonesian authorities raided convenience stores and seized condoms in a major city to stop teenagers having casual sex on Valentine’s Day, an official said Tuesday, the latest crackdown on the holiday in the Muslim-majority nation.

The mayor of Makassar, a conservative city on central Sulawesi island, led public order officers in the raids late Monday on the eve of the celebration.

Mayor Mohammad Ramdhan Pomanto said he was not against the sale of condoms but that outlets needed to be careful about whom they were sold to.

“Valentine’s Day is often misused by teenagers to have casual sex, this can destroy the morality of the nation,” he was quoted as saying in local media.

Iman Hud — head of the local public officers, similar to police but with fewer powers — told AFP that convenience stores had been failing to check teenagers’ IDs to see whether they were at least 18 years old, the age of consent, before selling them condoms.

“We are doing this to prevent promiscuity,” he said, adding that hundreds of condoms were seized in the raids in the city of 1.3 million.

It was the latest expression of anger at Valentine’s Day in the world’s most populous Muslim-majority country, where Islamic clerics and some pious Muslims use the occasion to criticise what they see as Western decadence.

On Monday teenage pupils, including girls in headscarves, staged a protest outside a school in the city of Surabaya, chanting: “Say no to Valentine!”

Celebrating the romantic holiday has also been banned by authorities in some parts of the country, as it is every year.