Claim of release of Sunday Igboho refuted, as battle to free him hot up
The claim that Yoruba freedom fighter, Chief Sunday Adeyemo a.k.a. Sunday Igboho has been released by authorities in Benin Republic and allowed to fly to Germany, has been refuted.
The news trended online yesterday evening with many of Sunday Igboho’s supporters hailing the Benineose government but a leader of Egbe Ilana Omo Oodua (umbrella body of Yoruba self-determination groups), Professor Wale Adeniran, has contradicted the claim confirming that Igboho remains in custody.
He was arrested on Monday evening at Cardinal Bernardin International Airport in Cotonou, Benin Republic, while trying to jet out of the country to Germany.
Nonetheless, his lawyer, Yomi Aliyu, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN), had argued that his client cannot be extradited to Nigeria, citing the conditions of the extradition treaty of 1984 between Togo, Nigeria, Ghana and Republic of Benin.
Professor Adeniran confirmed in a zoom conversation organised by Heritage Multimedia TV monitored on Tuesday evening that Igboho is still in custody.
Adeniran, a scholar and pioneer Commissioner for Education in Osun State, said, “I have just spoken with his lawyer. The lawyer has visited the location where he (Igboho) is been held.
“He was not allowed to see him (Igboho) but they confirmed to him that they are holding him in that location.
“He was asked to come back tomorrow (Wednesday) by 8:00am to see him.
“I asked him hope they are not going to play a funny game of secretly extraditing him, the lawyer told me it is not possible.
“We filed an application for political asylum for him over a week ago. With that in process, he cannot be legally extradited from Benin republic. I am very confident about that.
“I handle the application myself with the immigration lawyer and he assured me that since that application has been filed, he cannot be extradited. I think we should be rest assured that he will have the opportunity to see him tomorrow.”
Adeniran, who was also a former Director of Institute of African Studies at Obafemi Awolowo, frowned at those he accused of originating the report of Igboho’s release, averring it was capable of jeopardizing the battle to secure freedom for him.
He gave reason: “Why should people be putting out false information that he has been released which is injurious to this struggle and to the welfare and wellbeing of igboho?”
Adeniran disclosed four international lawyers from Benin Republic, Nigeria, France, Britain are on the case but when they saw the trending news, they had to call him to confirm.
“When the lawyers saw the false information, they relaxed, I had to tell them it is false. So can you see the damage,” he added.