As the face-off between Yoruba activist Sunday Igboho and the Nigerian government continues to take new dimensions. The Benin Republican government has stepped in to demand a repatriation hearing to determine if he is guilty or not.
After his arrest at Benin airport, where he was to board a plane to Germany, the Nigerian government is planning his repatriation back to Nigeria to the Department of state security service (DSS) in Abuja.
Sunday Adeyemo, AKA Sunday Igboho, had escaped to the Benin Republic with his wife, Ropo, after an attempt to arrest him during a raid at his Soka residence in Oyo state left 2 of his bodyguards dead. In contrast, 12 others were arrested and taken to Abuja.
Ever since the DSS declared him wanted over the allegation of having arms. They claim he intends to destabilize the country under the guise of advocacy for the Yoruba nation.
Igboho, however, has denied the claims.
Recall that Igboho was said to be arrested in Cotonou at the Cadjèhoun Airport Benin Republic by the Interpol on Monday 19. According to reports, The Nigerian government, through its ambassador to the Benin Republic, Lt. Gen. Tukur Buratai, had earlier written to the Beninese government to be on the lookout for Igboho.
Another source who spoke to a correspondent from Punch disclosed that the Nigerian government planned to repatriate him on Wednesday. But the Beninese government shielded the move.
According to the source, the Beninese government understands the implications of the Nigerian government’s planned action against the activist. And said they would only follow due processes to determine whether he is guilty of the crimes leveled against him.
This case is special as the world is watching the progression of this matter.
One of Igboho’s lawyers, Pelumi Olajengbesi, who also spoke in an interview with Punch, revealed that his legal team in Cotonou was already holding talks with the government to prevent his illegal deportation to Nigeria.
He hailed the Beninese government’s decision to follow the rule of law, expressing hope that they would be successful. They have also demanded an expatriation hearing to determine his legal status first.
Olajengbesi further revealed that the activist’s legal team in Benin and Nigeria would write the German government to seek Berlin’s help to foil the planned repatriation of Igboho.
Igboho’s wife, Ropo, happens to be a German citizen. It is expected that this will give them an advantage on the case.
Meanwhile, supporters of Igboho in Nigerian, Cotonou, and London have taken to the streets to protest against his arrest. Demanding his immediate release.