Beninese Government Turns Deaf Ears To Buhari Administration On Sunday Igboho *Hinges On Following Due Process - DE-REPORTORIAL

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Thursday, July 22, 2021

Beninese Government Turns Deaf Ears To Buhari Administration On Sunday Igboho *Hinges On Following Due Process


The Republic of Benin has resisted Nigeria’s attempts to hastily extradite the Yoruba nation activist, Sunday Adeyemo, also known as Sunday Igboho, to the headquarters of the Department of State Services in Abuja.


According to a source, the Federal Government of Nigeria has planned to extradite the activist on Wednesday (yesterday), but Benin Republic insisted that it would not be part of any process that was against due process.

One of the lawyers of Igboho, Pelumi Olajengbesi, in an interview said Benin Republic had shown itself to be a country that respects the rule of law and due process.

The lawyer said Igboho’s legal team in Benin Republic were in talks with the Beninise government.

He noted that despite pressure from the Nigerian government, the government of Benin had insisted on following due process including a repatriation hearing to determine whether or not Igboho was guilty as accused by the Nigerian secret police.
He said, “The disposition of Benin Republic is that it is a country that respects the rule of law. We are making efforts that he is not repatriated wrongly to Nigeria. We are ensuring that everything is done in accordance with the law and we are very hopeful that we would succeed because we expect that there should be a repatriation hearing before they can extradite him if at all they would do that.”

A source familiar with the matter,  who spoke on condition of anonymity, also said, “The Nigerian government has made attempts to get him (Igboho) but Benin Republic didn’t release him. The Nigerian government has asked him but the Beninise 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 with him.

“The Nigerian government is still quiet two days after the arrest because it does not have control over the situation. There is a procedure that the law establishes including a repatriation hearing to determine whether the person in question has committed the offence and why he or she should be repatriated or not.”
Meanwhile, the Beninese lawyers representing  Igboho 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.

He said Yoruba activist’s lawyers in Nigeria would also dispatch a similar letter to the German Embassy in Abuja on Thursday (today).

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 (today), 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 “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.”



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