Yomi Alliyu, lawyer of Yoruba activist, Sunday Adeyemo, better known as Sunday Igboho, has explained why his client cannot be extradited to Nigeria from the Benin Republic.
The federal government had last month, extradited Nnamdi Kanu, leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), back to Nigeria following his arrest in Kenya, after being on the run for years.
Alliyu, a senior advocate of Nigeria (SAN), argued that 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”, Alliyu said.
“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 also said one of 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,” he stated.
The Yoruba activist was arrested on Monday evening 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 and then transferred to the Cotonou Criminal Brigade,” according to a Benin newspaper, Banouto.
It was gathered that under the agreements between the two countries, Igboho’s extradition should be concluded without hindrance.
Igboho has led rallies in Ondo, Ekiti, Osun, Oyo, and Ogun States, calling for an independent Yoruba nation.
He threatened to hold the rally in Lagos on July 3, but his house in Ibadan was invaded barely 72 hours to the planned event.
The activist escaped the invasion on his house by operatives of the Department of State Services (DSS), but some of his aides were arrested with various weapons, according to security officials.
He was declared wanted afterwards.