Nigeria

Lawyer: Why Nigeria won’t sanction Benin Republic over Sunday Igboho

The Cour D’Appel De Cotonou, in Benin Republic late Monday ordered the continued detention of self-styled leader of Yoruba Nation agitator, Sunday Adeyemo, popularly known as Sunday Igboho.

The Coordinator of Legal Affairs, Yoruba Self-Determination Movement Worldwide, including Sunday Igboho’s arrest, Olasupo Ojo, has given reasons why Germany and France would not allow Nigeria and France to sanction Benin Republic for not extraditing the agitator.

Ojo said this while reacting to questions on the role of Germany and reports that Nigeria would sanction Benin Republic if the country fails to extradite Sunday Igboho, who is currently in a detention facility in Cotonou.

The lawyer, who is a guest on an online programme, explained that Germany is ready to accept Sunday Igboho despite his travails.

He also explained that Benin Republic is a francophone country colonised by France, adding that France as a world power would protect the sovereignty of its colonised region against external influence, including from Nigeria.

When asked about a letter supposedly written to Benin Republic requesting Igboho’s extradition, the lawyer said, “I am not aware of any letter. Assuming that the letter came from the Federal Government of Nigeria, what we insist on is that that they should do everything according to law.

“It is illegal and against international law to sanction Benin because of Igboho. Francophone countries comply with the rule of law. Also, Benin Republic is colonised by France. France is a superpower, Nigeria is not. So, how will that happen? I believe that they (Nigeria) know, they are wiser than that (threatening to impose sanctions).”

He also explained that Igboho is recognised by law to be the husband of a German citizen, Ropo, adding he has “some levels of protection” from Germany.

“Germany is not objecting his coming to Germany. He was arrested on his way to Germany. Germany will rise up anything to protect the lives of its citizens. The fact that he is a husband to a citizen and has a resident permit entitles him to some protection under the law.

“They won’t want his rights to be tampered with. Germany has not denied that he is a resident. There is no problem with Germany at all on this,” he added.

Igboho and his wife were arrested on Monday, July 19, 2021, by the International Criminal Police Organisation at the Cadjèhoun Airport in Cotonou, Republic of Benin on their way to Germany

He was declared wanted by the Directorate of State Service when he fled during a raid on his Ibadan residence on July 1, and was kept on the International Police watch list.

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