24th July, 2021
Yoruba nation agitator, Sunday Igboho, was arrested in Benin Republic based on the directive of the Nigerian government, but there has been no request yet for his extradition, one of the Beninese lawyers of the activist, Ibrahim David Salami has said.
Salami, who spoke in an interview with BBC Yoruba also revealed the charges levelled against Igboho which led to the arrest of the agitator alongside his wife at an airport in Cotonou, Republic of Benin last Monday.
The lawyer said there were three reasons given by the Nigerian government to request arrest of Igboho by Benin Republic as stated in the charges against the agitator in court last Thursday.
“Nigerian government said Igboho was involved in arms trafficking into Nigeria.
“The second one is that he is causing disturbance in Nigeria and the third one is that he is trying to divide Nigeria into two or three,” said Salami
He added that Nigeria has not provided proof of the allegations.
“When we saw the case in court, we discovered that the Nigerian government has not requested for his extradition. What is there is that the Nigerian government said they wanted to arrest Igboho because he committed certain offences in Nigeria and that if he is seen in Benin Republic he should be arrested.
“But what we are not happy about is that Igboho has not committed any offence here and if he is arrested here, it is because of the Nigerian government.
“And before he should be arrested, there should be proof that he has violated Nigerian law, but we don’t have that here now.
“What we don’t want to happen is for him to be detained here so that the Nigerian government will perfect the process of his extradition.
He added that sending Igboho back to Nigeria will be like sending him to his death given what happened when security operatives raided the Ibadan residence of the agitator.
Salami said he and other lawyers are determined to ensure that that did not happen.
“What is important to us is that never, never – we must not allow Igboho to be extradited to Nigeria, because if we allow that, the way security operatives have been harassing him, we would have send him to his death.”
He further revealed that lawyers are working to get a refuge status for Igboho in Benin Republic, so that he can stay in the country if he cannot to travel to Germany after his court case.