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I fled Nigeria to avoid being killed – Igboho tells Benin Republic court

I fled Nigeria to avoid being killed - Igboho tells Benin Republic court

Embattled Yoruba activist, Sunday Adeyemo popularly known as Sunday Igboho has said that he fled Nigeria to avoid being killed.

 

Igboho was declared wanted by the DSS on July 1 after a raid was carried out at his Ibadan home. He was however arrested in Benin Republic on July 19 while attempting to travel to Germany with his wife. He has been arraigned before the courts in Cotonou.

 

Igboho’s lawyer, David Ibrahim Salami, while speaking to the Nation on what transpired in the court on Monday, July 27, said

I fled Nigeria to avoid being killed - Igboho tells Benin Republic court
I fled Nigeria to avoid being killed – Igboho tells Benin Republic court

“While defending himself on the criminal allegations put on his head by Nigeria, Igboho told the judges that he had never been tried for any crime in his life.

 

When the judge asked him how and when he entered the Benin Republic, who housed him and who took him to the airport, Igboho told the court that his coming to the Benin Republic was to flee from his traducers who wanted to kill him in Nigeria. He stressed that he spent less than one day in Cotonou before attempting to travel to Germany

 

 


The lawyer spoke further;

“What amazed me is the fact that the judge was explicit that Igboho’s continued detention is not as a result of his issues with Nigeria, that he is being sent to prison because of infractions committed here in the Benin Republic.”

 

Salami said Igboho was sent to prison after the court hearing to allow investigation into how he came into Cotonou and why. He said no date had been fixed for the continuation of the trial because the authorities would need time to investigate how Igboho entered the country.

 

He said Benin Republic law allows Igboho to be admitted to bail pending the outcome of the investigation. On why the trial is behind the curtain, Salami said it is when investigations are concluded that the judgment can be read in the open court.

 

He said the primary task now is to establish whether the embattled activist entered Cotonou through legal or illegal routes, and what his mission was meant to achieve.

 

The legal counsel to the embattled Yoruba activist said the Nigerian government is yet to file any complaint against Igboho before the Benin republic court.

 

 


“We have also not seen any written complaints from Nigeria being placed before the court. It is a case between the Benin Republic and Sunday Igboho – nothing more” he explained.

 

Benin court sends Igboho to prison, rejects extradition

Earlier, the Court D’Appal of Cotonou decided to detain  Sunday Igboho, in prison custody, pending further investigation. The court also rejected Nigeria’s request for his immediate extradition of Igboho.

 

The Court, which was expected to start hearing the case at 10:00am, began sitting at 5p.m after the police ejected Igboho’s supporters and journalists. According to reports, the session lasted till about midnight, when the court decided to hold Igboho in prison.

 

The police had reportedly brought Igboho to court as early as 7 a.m to beat Igboho’s crowd of supporters. Igboho spent over 15 hours inside the prosecutor office as lawyers and the state argued whether to release him or further detain him. After long hours, the court decided to detain him further.

 

This prompted fears that the court was preparing grounds to extradite him to Nigeria.

 

The Buhari government accuses Igboho of trafficking in arms, inciting violence to disrupt the public peace and agitating for secession.

 

It wants him sent to Nigeria by extradition, though lawyers said Nigeria and Benin have no extradition treaty.

 

 


Igboho and his wife, Ropo, were arrested at the Cardinal Bernardin International Airport, Cotonou, last Monday while trying to catch a flight to Germany.

 

However, Ropo, who is a German citizen was set free by the court on Thursday.

 

Igboho was remanded in the custody of Brigade Criminelle in Cotonou.

 

Igboho was placed on the wanted list on July 1 by the Department of State Services (DSS) after its operatives raided his Soka residence in Ibadan.

 

They killed two of his aides and arrested 13 others during the operation.

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