24 hours after Benin’s Republican Police reportedly arrested Yoruba secessionist activist, Sunday Adeyemo, also known as Sunday Igboho, uncertainties still trail the circumstances of his arrest.
The question is would Benin Republic dance to the tune of the federal government in extraditing him?
The Yoruba self-determination campaigner was on Tuesday reported to have been released, however, whereabouts remain unknown.
Igboho was nabbed 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.
The Department of State Security (DSS) is yet to react to the peddling rumours for confirmation or denial.
Igboho may be repatriated to Nigeria from the Benin Republic on Wednesday. In his reaction, his legal counsel, Aliyu urged the country to reject an extradition request from Nigeria.
Yoruba nation agitation group, Ilana Omo Oodua, led by Prof. Banji Akintoye, in a statement yesterday said “it is currently working to provide assistance for Ighoho to prevent his extradition to Nigeria.
“We all know he has committed no crime. We have secured the services of a leading and highly respected lawyer whom we can confidently rely on. 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.”
Sunday Igboho has been on the watchlist of the federal government and had escaped after his home was raided on July 1.
Akintoye urged authorities in Benin and the international community to desist from granting Nigeria's government request for Igboho's extradition.
In his words, “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 means Chief Sunday Adeyemo, a political offender, cannot be deported and/or extradited by the good people of the Republic of Benin for any reason.”