Oba Saliu Adetunji, the Olubadan of Ibadan, has decided to wade into the case of Sunday Adeyemo, the arrested Yoruba Nation activist popularly known as Sunday Igboho, by sending a delegation to Cotonou, Benin Republic, for Monday’s court case.
This was disclosed in a statement issued by Adeola Oloko, Personal Assistant/Director of Media and Publicity to the Olubadan, on Sunday.
The monarch revealed the action at his palace in Ibadan on Sunday while exchanging views with some leaders of thought, comprising the Central Council of Ibadan Indigenes President General, Prince Yemisi Adeaga, first Vice President General, Dr Tirimisiyu Oladimeji; Ekefa Olubadan, Chief Lekan Alabi; Ajia Olubadan, Chief Wasiu Aderoju Alaadorin; and Mogaji Makusota, Prof. Oluwasegun Adekunle.
The statement, however, did not disclose the identities of the delegation members.
According to Olubadan, the sending of the delegation is pertinent in order to quell the fears of several people that he is not folding his arms over the travails of Igboho.
“Sunday Igboho lives in Ibadan, got married in Ibadan, rear children in Ibadan, built houses in Ibadan and as such he has the rights to be protected by Ibadan traditional institution within the ambit of the law just like any human being in Ibadan,” the statement quoted the monarch as saying.
The traditional ruler also disclosed that he is in constant touch with Yoruba prominent royal fathers, including Igboho royal crowns, and allayed public fears of a repeat performance of the Yoruba-Fulani coalition of 1814.
“Students of Nigeria history may wish to be reminded that when some people during the period under reference chose to engage in territorial expansion to the sea, it took the Ibadan army under Balogun Oderinlo to repel the attack and stop the incursion near Osogbo,” he said.
In a related development, Yoruba monarchs in Benin Republic have resolved to write the president of the country, Patrice Talon, over the arrest and detention of Yoruba Nation agitator, Sunday Adeyemo, popularly called Sunday Igboho, in the country.
The traditional rulers made this known after meeting at the Ajohoun Palace in Adjohoun, Benin on Sunday.
The monarchs told BBC News Yoruba that the meeting was aimed at finding a solution and the steps they would take on Sunday Igboho’s issue.
They said that it was agreed upon that a letter should be written to the President of Benin Republic, the Minister of Justice, the Minister of Interior, and the Head of the country’s parliament.
They, however, refused to state what would be the content of their letter.
The arrest comes three weeks after operatives of the Department of State Services (DSS) raided Igboho’s house in Ibadan, the Oyo State capital, in a bid to arrest him.
He, however, escaped, although two persons were killed and 12 persons were arrested, while arms and ammunition were reportedly retrieved from his residence by the secret agents.
Igoboho has been declared wanted by the DSS on allegations of stockpiling arms to destabilise the country, an allegation which he has since denied.
He was arraigned before the Cour d’appel de Cotonou by the Beninese authorities last Thursday for immigration-related offences, particularly being in possession of a Benin Republic passport even though he is not a citizen of the country.
The Nigerian government had on Thursday sent representatives to court and accused Igboho of importing firearms.
The Cour d’appel asked the Nigerian government to provide evidence against the activist by the next adjourned date (today) before a request for extradition can be considered.
Igboho’s wife has, however, been freed.