The Federal Government of Nigeria which has been mum on arrest and planned repatriation of embattled Yoruba Nation agitator, Sunday Adeyemo aka Sunday Igboho, sent representatives to the Cour De’appal De Cotonou on Thursday and accused Igboho of importing firearms, according to a report.
The FG delegation also insisted that Igboho be remanded in police custody until it concludesd the process of his extradition.
The Beninese court had earlier ruled on Thursday ruled that Igboho’s Germany-based wife, Ropo, should be released unconditionally as there were no charges against her.
The court, however, ruled that Igboho be remanded in police custody till the next week when sitting would resume in the French-speaking court.
The two were arrested at the Cadjèhoun Airport in Cotonou on Monday while they tried to catch a flight to Germany. Igboho was earlier declared wanted by the Department of State Services for allegedly stockpiling arms, an allegation he denied. The secret police had also raided his house, killed two of his associates and arrested about 12 of them.
A source said, “The Nigerian Government has made attempts to get him (Igboho) but Benin Republic didn’t release him. The Nigerian Government has requested him but the Beninese Government has not released him because the latter has not even identified him as a Nigerian.
“The only instrument they can use to identify him as a Nigerian is the passport, but that is not what was found on him.”
The source added, “The Nigerian Government was in court on Thursday through its legal representatives. They demanded that Igboho be remanded pending the time the government would file proper documents for his extradition. The Nigerian government told the court that Igboho is a gunrunner and appealed to the court to remand Igboho until further notice.
“Nothing is happening on extradition for now because the priority case for the Benin Republic is that he is alleged to have committed an offence against their law. So, they can’t hold any extradition hearing until they get to the root of the matter on how he got the Benin Republic passport.
“I am suspecting that even if the court orders his release, he will be rearrested because of the Nigerian Government’s accusation that he is a gunrunner.”
Also, the ex-Senator Banji Akintoye-led group, Ilana Omo Oodua, which has been monitoring the judicial process in Cotonou, in its statement said, “What Nigerian Government came up with were mere allegations against Ighoho such as trafficking in arms and inciting violence that could result in social disturbance without evidence, which the Government of Benin Republic considered spurious and untenable, and insufficient to warrant extradition.”
When contacted, a member of Igboho’s legal team, Pelumi Olajengbesi, declined comments on the case of his client and the details of the court hearing on Thursday. The lawyer, however, told newsmen that the team was hopeful that the court would grant Igboho bail and won’t extradite the activist illegally to Nigeria.
When asked whether Igboho would get bail in court, the lawyer simply said, “We are hopeful.”
Olajengbesi restated his conviction that Benin Republic had shown itself to be a country that respects the rule of law and due process.