Chief Yomi Alliyu (SAN), lead counsel to popular Yoruba Nation agitator, Chief Sunday Adeyemo aka Igboho, has said the International Criminal Police Organisation (INTERPOL) was allegedly involved in the arrest of his client.
According to the lawyer, operatives of INTERPOL allegedly masterminded the arrest of Igboho alongside his wife, Ropo, who is a German citizen.
Recall The New Diplomat had earlier reported that Igboho was allegedly arrested by security operatives on Monday night at a Cotonou airport in Benin Republic, one of Nigeria’s immediate neighbours.
The arrest of the activist came few days after the Federal Government had raised alert that Igboho was trying to flee Nigeria. The government subsequently added Igboho to a stop-list, aimed at facilitating the arrest of the activist.
Meanwhile, in a statement, Igboho’s lawyer revealed that his client was arrested while trying to catch a flight to Germany with his wife.
Alliyu further argued that the duo cannot be extradited to Nigeria based on a 1984 treaty with Benin Republic. He claimed that provisions in the treaty do not allow the extradition of any political offender who is unlikely to get justice in his home country.
He also added that lawyers in Benin Republic would be engaged to defend Igboho’s rights and stop his extradition.
The statement reads, “The Extradition Treaty of 1984 between Togo, Nigeria, Ghana and Republic of Benin excluded political fugitives. 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.”
Also, Pelumi Olajengbesi, one of the lawyers of Igboho, had earlier said the activist surrendered himself to security operatives in Benin, saying that he was not arrested as claimed. He added that the activist cannot be easily arrested.
According to the lawyer, Igboho made “himself available to government” because he believes in justice for the Yoruba people and the nation at large.
Olajengbesi made this known while addressing journalists on Tuesday.
In his words, “Truly he was arrested and I have confirmed that. We are making efforts to ensure that he is fine. You know the Department of State Services declared him wanted.
“As a matter of fact, let me tell you now. That Sunday Igboho was arrested simply because he wanted to make himself available to the government. If not, Sunday Igboho is not someone who can be arrested that way. But because he believes that the journey to justice for the Yoruba people and for the Nigerian state to be able to live in peace may be needed for him to be available, that was why.”
Meanwhile, Nigerian authorities were yet to comment on the viral news of Igboho’s arrest since it broke early Tuesday.