The legal team representing Yoruba Nation agitator and activist, Sunday Adeyemo, alias Sunday Igboho, has reportedly reached out to Benin Republic authorities to stop his extradition.
Recall the International Criminal Police Organisation (Interpol) arrested Igboho in Cotonou, Benin Republic, alongside his German wife, Ropo, on their way to Germany.
The legal team in Benin met with some senior authorities in the Francophone country on Tuesday to block the Federal Government’s plans to extradite Igboho, according to reports.
Pelumi Olajengbesi, a member of Igboho’s legal team, confirmed the news to journalists in Abuja on Tuesday.
Speaking about the circumstances surrounding Igboho’s detention and the government’s efforts to repatriate him to Nigeria, Olajengbesi stated that the activist’s legal team had said that they would do everything possible to prevent their client’s extradition.
He said, “The lawyers we engaged in Benin have met with some officials of the country to prevent the extradition.
“Igboho’s lawyers in Benin have already reached out to senior officials in Benin to ensure that he is not brought back to Nigeria. They (legal team) have assured us that they are doing all that is necessary to keep him in Benin.
“The Federal Government or Benin Republic won’t be able to circumvent the law to bring him to Nigeria. He is currently a prisoner of conscience in Benin Republic and the entire world is watching how the Benin government would manage the matter.”
Olajengbesi stated that the Federal Government would not be allowed to give Igboho “the Nnamdi Kanu treatment.”
“When Nnamdi Kanu was arrested, nobody was aware and the Federal Government has refused to admit that he was arrested in Kenya. Since we have been informed of Igboho’s arrest, there have been a lot of legal interventions that the law is followed.
“The lawyers we engaged in Benin are especially discussing with the Benin Republic government. We are very confident that they won’t be able to repatriate him.”
Meanwhile Igboho’s lawyer, Chief Yomi Alliyu (SAN), has asked the authorities of Benin Republic not to release his client to Nigeria because he won’t get justice from the government.
Alliyu, while confirming Igboho’s arrest, accused the federal government of victimising his client and urged Benin Republic not to extradite him.
“It is a shocking news that the Nigerian Government has gotten Chief Sunday Adeyemo, arrested by INTERPOL in the Republic of Benin. Notwithstanding, the political nature of his offence and what the DSS earlier said that they refrained from arresting him so as not to overheat the polity of Southwestern Nigeria.
“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,” he said.
The Senior Advocate of Nigeria argued that Article 20 of the 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.
He described Igboho as a political offender who cannot be deported and/or extradited for any reason.
“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,” he added.