The lawyer of a Yoruba nation agitator, Sunday Adeyemo, also known as Sunday Igboho, has spoken on why his client ‘cannot’ be extradited to Nigeria from the Benin Republic.
The lawyer, Yomi Alliyu, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN), argued that Mr Igboho cannot be extradited to Nigeria because of the extradition treaty of 1984 between Togo, Nigeria, Ghana, and Republic of Benin.
“The Extradition Treaty of 1984 between Togo, Nigeria, Ghana and Republic of Benin excluded political fugitives,” said Mr Alliyu.
“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 made Chief Sunday Adeyemo a political offender who cannot be deported and/or extradited by the good people of the Republic of Benin for any reason.”
“Secondly, that he cannot get Justice or even be killed is apparent in how those arrested in his house were detained for more than 21 days now without access to their lawyers,” he said in a statement.
The legal practitioner also said one of Mr Igboho’s wife, identified as Ropo, a German Citizen, was arrested together with her husband in Cotonou.
“What offence has she committed to warrant this? We urge the good government of the Republic of Benin and international community, especially Germany, to rise up and curb the impunity of the Nigerian Government by refusing any application for extradition of our Client who already has application before ICC duly acknowledged.”
PREMIUM TIMES reported how Benin Republic police on Monday evening arrested Mr Igboho at Cardinal Bernardin International Airport in Cotonou, Benin Republic, while trying to fly from the country to Germany.
He was “disembarked from his plane, arrested by the Beninese police while he was trying to travel to Germany and then transferred to the Cotonou Criminal Brigade,” according to a Benin newspaper, Banouto.
It was learnt that under the agreements between the two countries, Mr Igboho’s extradition should be concluded without hindrance.
Mr Igboho has led rallies in Ondo, Ekiti, Osun, Oyo, and Ogun states. He threatened to hold the rally in Lagos on July 3 but his home was invaded barely 72 hours to the planned date.
While some of his aides were arrested with various weapons, according to security officials, he escaped and has since been declared wanted.
He has in the past also called for the eviction of Fulanis from South-west states, an action that was condemned by federal and state authorities.
Although the Nigerian government is yet to speak about his arrest, reactions have started pouring in from different individuals.
In the latest of its kind, Afenifere Renewal Group (ARG), in a statement by its chairman, Wale Oshun, said “if extracted to Nigeria, justice will be denied. Benin Republic, under international law, has an obligation to protect Mr Adeyemo and ensure that he receives justice in whatever extradition process her court might be called to adjudicate upon.
“Afenifere Renewal Group invites the Central government to concentrate on solving the problems that precipitated all the crises presently confronting Nigeria rather than selectively bullying its citizens on the basis of ethnic nationality.”