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Fugitive Move: Why Sunday Igboho can’t be Extradited to Nigeria

Fugitive Move: Why Sunday Igboho can’t be extradited to Nigeria

Chief Yomi Alliyu (SAN), the lead counsel for Yoruba Nation agitator, Sunday Adeyemo, popularly known as Sunday Igboho, has said that the arrested rights activist cannot be extradited from Benin Republic because he is a “political offender”.


In a statement on Tuesday, Alliyu explained that the 1984 Treaty and an African Charter would prevent the government of Benin Republic from giving Igboho to Nigeria.


We had reported that Igboho was arrested in Benin Republic on Monday night while attempting to leave the country for Germany.


Igboho was earlier declared wanted by the Department of the State Services after he escaped during a raid of his residence on July 1.



Alliyu said, “The Extradition Treaty of 1984 between Togo, Nigeria, Ghana, and Republic of Benin excluded political fugitives. It also states that where the fugitive will not get justice because of discrimination and/or undue delay in prosecution the host country should not release the fugitive.


“Now, Article 20 of African Charter on Human and Peoples Rights to which the four countries are signatories made agitation for self-determination a fundamental right to be protected by all countries.


“This made Chief Sunday Adeyemo a POLITICAL OFFENDER who cannot be deported and/or extradited by the good people of the Republic of Benin for any reason.


“Secondly, that he cannot get justice or even be killed is apparent in how those arrested in his house were detained for more than 21 days now without access to their lawyers. Even the wife among them could not change her undies for 21 days! Which inhuman treatment can be more this?


“We urge the good government of the Republic of Benin and the international community, especially Germany, to rise up and curb the impunity of the Nigerian Government by refusing any application for extradition of our Client who already has an application before ICC duly acknowledged.”


Also, Leader of the umbrella body of Yoruba self-determination groups, Ilana Omo Oodua (IOO), Professor Emeritus Banji Akintoye, confirmed that Yoruba Patriots are working hard to provide assistance for Ighoho towards preventing his extradition to Nigeria because “Benin Republic is a land that respects the rules of law”.



He called on all Yoruba people within and beyond the shores of Nigeria to ensure their ancestral land is not defeated by invaders.


“I received last night the troubling information that Chief Sunday Adeyemo fondly called Igboho had been arrested at the Cotonou Airport.


“I and other Yoruba Patriots who are immediately available are now working to provide the assistance necessary to ensure that nobody will be able to do to him anything unlawful or primitive and to prevent him from being extradited into Nigeria which is strongly possible.


“Fortunately, Benin Republic is reliably a land of law where the authorities responsibly obey the law. We have secured the services of a leading and highly respected lawyer whom we can confidently rely on.


“What the situation now calls for is that the Yoruba nation at home and in Diapora must stand strong, resolved that neither Sunday Igboho nor any other Yoruba person will henceforth be subjected to inhuman or dehumanising treatment of any kind.


“We Yoruba nation are, by the grace of God, a very strong nation. We must arise now to show that strength.


“For a start, we must all see to it now that Sunday Ighoho will get his freedom back so as to be able to move and operate as a free person. We all know he has committed no crime.”


He added: “We know that some people are trying to suppress or even eliminate him only because he stood up to defend his kinsmen, women and children who are being massively killed and raped in their ancestral home Land; who are having their assets and means of livelihood destroyed, and who are facing ethnic cleansing and even genocide without having the benefit of protection by the rulers of their country.



“We know, furthermore, that for the protection of his people who are being brutalised, he has joined hands with many of his brethren to take the legally-appropriate step, namely to seek the intervention of the International Criminal Court.”


How Sunday Igboho was arrested in Benin Republic

Igboho, a campaigner for Yoruba self-determination, was arrested in neighbouring Cotonou, Benin Republic, while trying to travel to Germany.


A local newspaper in the neighbouring country, Banouto, reports quoted Beninise authorities as saying Mr Igboho was nabbed at Cardinal Bernardin International Airport in Cotonou.


He was “disembarked from his plane, arrested by the Beninese police while he was trying to travel to Germany and then transferred to the Cotonou Criminal Brigade.”


It was learnt that under the agreements between the two countries, Mr Igboho’s extradition should be concluded without hindrance but the Nigerian government is yet to speak on the development.


Sunday Igboho yet to be released ― Aide

According to one of Igboho’s aides, Mr Dapo Salami, who spoke to Vanguard on the telephone, the report that he (Igboho) has been released was false and misleading.


“He is still being detained. Disregard any information that says Chief Igboho has been released. But I believe notable Yoruba leaders should have been working on ways to secure his release without any delay,” he said.


Also, in a Zoom talk organised by Heritage Multimedia TV on Tuesday evening, Professor Wale Adeniran of Ilana Omo Odua, the umbrella body of Yoruba self-determination groups, said he is still being held.


Adeniran, a former Director of the Institute of African Studies at Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, and a pioneer Commissioner of Education in Osun State declined rumours that he had been released.


He said, “I just spoke with his lawyer. The lawyer has paid a visit to the detention centre where Igboho is being kept.”



“He wasn’t allowed to see him (Igboho), but they confirmed to him that he was being held there.


“He was told to return the next day (Wednesday) at 8:00 a.m. to see him.


“I inquired if they were going to play a joke on me by covertly extraditing him, and the lawyer said that wasn’t conceivable.


“We applied for political asylum for him more than a week ago. He cannot be legitimately extradited from the Republic of Benin while that process is ongoing. That is something I am certain about.


“I manage the application myself with the immigration lawyer, and he told me that he cannot be extradited because the application has been filed. I believe we can all rest certain that he will be able to visit him tomorrow.”


“Why should people spread false information that he has been released, endangering this struggle and the welfare and wellbeing of Igboho?” he asked.


Four foreign lawyers from Benin Republic, Nigeria, France, and the United Kingdom are on the case, according to Adeniran, but they had to call him to confirm when they noticed the trending news.



“The lawyers relaxed when they saw the phoney material, so I had to tell them it was untrue. “Are you able to see the damage?” he asked.


Rumors have it on Tuesday evening that Sunday Igboho has been released and on his way to Frankfurt, Germany.

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