Yoruba Nation Agitator, Sunday Adeyemo otherwise known as Igboho, has been reportedly arrested in Cotonou-Benin Republic, Nigeria’s Western neighbours, just three days after the Nigerian government raised high alert over plans by Igboho to flee the country.
A report by The Punch said he was arrested at the Cotonou airport late Monday by Beninoise security forces.
Cotonou, a commercial city popular for the cross-border transit of goods is just about 108km by road to Lagos — West Africa’s economic hub.
One source was quoted to have said Igboho will be repatriated to Nigeria from Benin Republic today (Tuesday).
“He was arrested in Cotonou while he tried to travel out on Monday night. His destination was Germany. The security forces in Benin Republic should repatriate him to Nigeria on Tuesday,” Punch quoted the source as saying.
His reported arrest comes about three weeks after the Department of State Services (DSS) declared him wanted for allegedly stockpiling arms, following the July 1, 2021 raid of his residence located in Soka-Ibadan by the men of the Nigerian secret police. About 12 of Igboho’s aides were arrested and two killed as operatives exchanged fire with his men.
The spokesperson of Igboho, Olayomi Koiki had debunked the claim by DSS that the Yoruba Nation Agitator was stockpiling arms, describing it as a ‘conspiracy’ to nail his principal.
The New Diplomat reported on Saturday that federal government had alerted the nation’s security forces over plan by the Yoruba Nation activist to flee the country to an unknown destination. The government also stated that he has been trying to acquire a new passport, adding him to a ‘stop-list.’
This was contained in a letter by the Nigerian Immigration Service (NIS) and addressed to the Director-General, Department of State Services (DSS); Inspector-General of Police (IGP); and the National Intelligence Agency (NIA).
The news of Igboho’s arrest follows the re-arrest and repatriation of the leader of the proscribed Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), Nnamdi Kanu to Nigeria three weeks ago. But the location of Kanu’s arrest has not been disclosed by the Nigerian government till date amid claims that he was apprehended in Kenya.
As of the time of this reporting, the Nigerian authorities were yet to react to Igboho’s reported arrest in Benin. Also, efforts by The New Diplomat to get DSS spokesman, Peter Afunanya react to the development have so far come to nought.