The Republic of Benin has rejected Nigeria’s attempts to hastily extradite the Yoruba Nation agitator, Chief Sunday Adeyemo, popularly known as Sunday Igboho, to the headquarters of the Department of State Services in Abuja, insisting that rule of law must be followed.
It was gathered that the federal government planned to extradite Igboho on Wednesday, 21 July, but the Beninese government resisted the attempts.
According to PUNCH, a security source in the West African country said, “The Nigerian government planned to extradite him on Wednesday, but our government said the rule of law must be followed as the world is watching us.”
Meanwhile, a member of Igboho’s legal team, Pelumi Olajengbesi, disclosed that Beninese lawyers representing the secessionist agitator have sought the intervention of the German government to halt the planned extradition of the Yoruba Nation activist.
This, it was gathered, was meant to put diplomatic pressure on Cotonou and foil the moves by the federal government to influence the Beninese government.
The news outlet also reported that Olajengbesi said the Yoruba activist’s lawyers in Nigeria would also dispatch a similar letter to the German embassy in Abuja on Thursday, 22 July.
He stated: “We have written to the German government to intervene and stop the illegal extradition of Igboho and we are expecting a due response from the German government. The wife is German and that made it convenient for us.
“The lawyers in Benin have formally written to the German government and so we expect them to intervene. We (Igboho’s lawyers in Nigeria) have not written to the German embassy in Nigeria because it is a public holiday but by tomorrow, steps will be taken in that regard.”
Olajengbesi said the Beninese government would not succumb to pressure from the federal government to extradite Igboho to Nigeria, noting that “The Benin Republic has a certain level of decency in terms of respect for the rule of law which is encouraging.”
He attributed the reported maltreatment of Igboho by security agencies in Benin to letters allegedly written by Buratai, who asked the government to arrest Igboho whom he accused of being a hardened criminal.
The lawyer added, “The government is treating Igboho like a criminal because of the letters written by retired Lt. Gen Tukur Buratai to the government in Benin describing Igboho as a hardcore criminal.
“We have communicated to the government in Benin that he is not a criminal but an advocate for justice in Nigeria and so, he must be given such due.”