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Uncertainty trails Igboho’s ‘arrest’ in Cotonou 20 days after DSS raid

Sunday Igboho

• Igboho still in Republic of Benin in handcuffs, lawyer refutes release rumour
• DSS mum 24 hours after arrest at Cotonou airport
• Falana, Ozekhome, others react, call for due process
• Arrest is war on Yoruba people, says Adebanjo
• Akintoye vows to stop Igboho’s extradition to Nigeria
• Ohanaeze: Yoruba, Igbo’s consciousness incarcerated while bandits, terrorists roam free
• Northern coalition urges FG to expose sponsors of Kanu, Igboho

Three weeks after he was declared wanted by Nigeria’s secret police, the Department of State Services (DSS), Benin’s Republican Police on Monday night reportedly nabbed popular campaigner for Yoruba self-determination, Sunday Adeyemo, also known as Sunday Igboho.

Igboho was arrested in neighbouring Cotonou, Benin Republic, while trying to travel to Germany. According to local reports, Beninoise authorities arrested Igboho at Cardinal Bernardin International Airport, Cotonou.

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

As reactions and fireworks continued to trail the arrest, reports began filtering out that Igboho had been released and was already on a plane to Germany, but lawyer to Igboho, Yomi Aliyu (SAN) last night dismissed the rumour that the Yoruba agitator had been released by authorities of Republic of Benin.

 
In a telephone conversation with The Guardian, Aliyu said: “My brother, don’t be deceived. As we speak, Sunday is still in Benin and in serious pains. As a matter of fact, he is even crying now. He is not on his way to Germany.”

The Federal Government as at last night was yet to react to the development, though senior lawyers and leading Yoruba groups are calling on the government of Benin Republic to prevent Igboho’s extradition to Nigeria. Almost 24 hours after news of his arrest broke, the DSS is yet to confirm the authenticity or otherwise of the story.

DSS spokesman, Peter Afunanya, did not respond to calls and multiple text messages sent to him seeking confirmation on the matter.

The intelligence agency is reputed for keeping such level of operation that involves international relations top secret. For instance, the arrest of Nnamdi Kanu, leader of the outlawed Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) was made public only 48 hours after he was extradited to Nigeria.

DSS had on July 1 declared Igboho wanted for allegedly stockpiling arms, an allegation he has since denied. His two associates were shot dead in an exchange of gunfire with the security operatives while 12 suspects were arrested during the operation on his residence in Ibadan.

At the press briefing at DSS headquarters, Afunanya had vowed that Igboho would be tracked and even advised him to turn himself in to security operatives.

Infuriated by wanton killings, rape, kidnappings and harassment in the Ibarapa axis of Oyo State, Sunday Adeyemo had on January 16, 2021, issued a seven-day ultimatum to Fulani herdsmen in Igangan, Ibarapa North Local Council of the state to leave the area or face eviction.

He made good his threat when he stormed the community on Friday, January 22, with hundreds of youths, leaving tales of wanton destruction, carnage and arson behind. Since that fateful Friday, the atmosphere in the zone had been tense and charged.

It was gathered that Igboho may be repatriated to Nigeria from Benin Republic today. In his reaction, his legal counsel, Aliyu urged the country to reject any extradition request from Nigeria.

According to him, the extradition treaty of 1984 between the countries excluded political fugitives. He said: “We urge the good government of the Republic of Benin and 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 application before ICC duly acknowledged.
   
“The Extradition Treaty of 1984 between Togo, Nigeria, Ghana

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