NIGERIA’S plans to get Yoruba Nation agitator Sunday Adeyemo extradited from neighbouring Benin Republic has faced a serious setback after the Beninoise authorities failed to produce him in court today to face immigration charges.
On Monday evening, Mr Adeyemo, popularly known as Igboho was arrested along with his wife Ropo in Cotonou as they sought to board a plane to Germany. He is wanted by the Nigerian authorities after escaping arrest when men of the Department of State Security (DSS) raided his Ibadan residence on July 1.
Apparently, Mr Igboho had applied to Britain for asylum and was on his way there via Germany when he was intercepted by the Beninoise authorities. One of his lawyers based in Texas in the US, Ebenezer Olanrewaju, said Benin Republic had no reason to extradite Mr Igboho because he had not committed any crime in its territory.
It was expected that today, however, the Beninoise would charge Mr Igboho to court to face immigration charges based on the fact that he was seeking to travel with a Benin Republic passport. However, the Beninoise authorities did not bring him to court, throwing the whole process into uncertainty.
Yoruba Nation agitators who gathered at the court premises in Cotonou called Parquet to catch a glimpse of their hero left disappointed. One source said that the extradition case would be tough for Nigeria to win because Ropo, with whom Igboho was arrested is a German citizen and the Yoruba Nation agitator had filed for political asylum over a week ago.
Also, the Extradition Treaty of 1984 between Togo, Nigeria, Ghana and Republic of Benin excludes political fugitives. Beninoise authorities had insisted on a fair trial for Mr Igboho before yielding to Nigeria’s demand to extradite him with the government saying it will not deal with the extradition request without first trying him for the local offence for which he was arrested.
Yoruba Nation has hired Beninois defence attorney Rafael Huvehnou, who is currently a lawyer to the Benin Republic president. However, Nigeria’s ambassador to Benin Republic, Tukur Buratai, has written two letters to the country’s government insisting on the extradition of Mr Igboho, describing him as a terrorist and murderer.