Update: Court in Benin Republic adjourns Sunday Igboho’s hearing


By Mukwuzi Joseph

The Cotonou Court of Appeal Thursday adjourned the hearing of the suit involving the Yoruba nation agitator, Sunday Adeyemo (popularly known as Sunday Igboho), till Friday July 23

Mr Igboho has been returned to the custody of the Criminal Brigade in Cotonou, Benin Republic, according to The Punch newspaper.

On Tuesday, one of Mr Igboho’s associates said he would not be extradited from the country because had filed an application for political asylum.

Mr Igboho was nabbed at the Cardinal Bernadin International Airport in Cotonou while he was trying to travel to Germany.

A Yoruba nation agitation group, Ilana Omo Oodua, led by Banji Akintoye, said in a statement Tuesday that it is “currently working to provide assistance for Ighoho to prevent his extradition into Nigeria.”

Mr Akintoye said “for a start, we must all see to it now that Sunday Ighoho will get his freedom back so as to be able to move and operate as a free person. We all know he has committed no crime.

“We have secured the services of a leading and highly respected lawyer whom we can confidently rely on. We know, furthermore, that for the protection of his people who are being brutalised, he has joined hands with many of his brethren to take the legally-appropriate step, namely to seek the intervention of the International Criminal Court.”

A sociocultural group in Oyo State, The Landmark Group, in a statement by its chairman, Ayo Adekunle, accused the federal government of trying to victimise and dehumanise Igboho.

“It’s astonishing that the charges against our brother are neither of killing, kidnapping or abduction which are the thriving businesses in Nigeria today and need the concerted efforts of the government working with the state and local government. However, with the kind of treatment and selective manhunt for our brother, such collaborative efforts may be an exercise in futility.

“In a nation where bandits are in photo ops with some governors and Boko Haram members are being given amnesty, is it a crime to defend your people against invasion? This, we believe, is the sin of our brother, Sunday Igboho. All other issues are being joined to raise unnecessary sentiments.

“We, therefore, call on Governor Seyi Makinde who is the chief security officer of Oyo State, and indeed, governors of the South-west states, to ensure the safety of our brother against victimisation. We equally call on the Federal Government and President Muhammadu Buhari to exercise restraint and stop the manhunt for our brother. He is only fighting for justice and equity for his people and, as such, should not be treated as a criminal.”

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