It is no more news that the celebrated litigation against Yoruba freedom fighter, Chief Sunday Adeyemo a.k.a. Sunday Igboho, in a court in Benin Republic, has taken off, with the round one being brought to conclusion yesterday.
Sunday Adeyemo declared wanted by the Nigerian government over indefinite charges such as stockpiling weapons, incitement to violence etc and arrested by security operatives in Benin Republic last Monday at the instance of Big Brother Nigeria, is charged by the neighbouring West African country for possession of “fake passport.”
He was picked at the airport along with his German wife, his lawyer later claiming he was subjected to inhuman treatment at the initial stages of his arrest. This according to findings was as a result of earlier intel from the Nigerian authorities that he was a “terrorist and murderer.”
Upon his arrest, Nigeria through its ambassador to Benin Republic, Tukur Buratai, ex-Chief of Army Staff, demanded his immediate extradition, a demand however rebuffed.
Benin refused to be stampeded into “unlawful acts,” carefully laying down its desire to follow the rule of law. Hence, it instituted the court case bordering on immigration-related offences against the couple, leading to their arraignment yesterday.
The Beninese court found nothing amiss with the travel documents of Mrs. Ropo Adeyemo and so acquitted her of the charges.
Sunday Igboho on the other hand is to remain in custody, while Nigeria’s request for extradition was not (yet) acceded to, the inference being 2-0, in favour of Igboho.
Meanwhile, Egbe Ilana Omo Oodua, umbrella body for all Yoruba self-determination groups, and headed by renowned historian, Professor Banji Akintoye, which has been backing the foremost Yoruba self-determination agitator, and closely monitoring the process in Benin, has given more details about what transpired yesterday at the court proceedings through a released this morning.
Titled, “Update on Chief Sunday Adeyemo Igboho’s case in Republic of Benin,” the statement, signed by Maxwell Adeleye, the group’s communications manager, states, “Yesterday, the court set Mrs. Adeyemo, lgboho’s wife free since it has been found that she has committed no offence and there’s no complain whatsoever against her. Consequently, her German passport was returned to her.
“The Lawyers handling the case reported after the proceedings that Chief Sunday Adeyemo lgboho cannot be extradited to Nigeria for two principal reasons:
1. That contrary to insinuations, Nigeria and Benin have no Extradition Agreement.
2. That Nigeria has not been able to come up with charges that could lead the court to order lgboho’s extradition to Nigeria.
“What Nigerian Government came up with were mere allegations against Ighoho such as trafficking in arms and inciting violence that could result in the social disturbance without evidence which the Government of Benin Republic considered spurious and untenable, and insufficient to warrant extradition.
“Lastly, the case has been adjourned till Monday 26th July to allow the Nigerian Government bring up whatever evidence they may have, and Mr. lgboho has been taken back to the police custody.”
The battle, as noted, continues on Monday, July 26 – Igboho vs Nigeria.