The Cour D’Appel De Cotonou, Benin Republic has ordered that a popular Yoruba Nation agitator, Sunday Adeyemo, aka Sunday Igboho be transferred to another detention facility in Cotonou.
The court, after a 13-hour hearing from the prosecution and defence lawyers ruled that Igboho be remanded in detention pending when all investigations would be concluded.
The court also ruled that Igboho be granted access to medical care in the detention facility.
This was after the activist’s lawyers had argued before the court that their client’s fundamental human rights were being abused. The lawyers said Igboho had leg chain and hand-cuff on him, which prevented him from doing things by himself.
The legal team of the activist also argued that the health condition of their client had worsened, praying the court to grant him bail to seek medical attention.
Since his arrest, Igboho had been detained at Brigade Criminelle facility in Cotonou. Although, the details of the judgment remains sketchy as of press time, reports have it that the activist may have been transferred to Cotonou Civil Prison.
Igboho lawyers’ battle to secure bail for the activist failed as the court ordered that he be remanded in detention for further investigation.
The court, by its ruling also declined the immediate extradition of Igboho to Nigeria.
Recall that the Federal Government of Nigeria had placed Igboho on a stop-list for allegedly stockpiling arms and ammunition to cause havoc in the country. This came few days after the operatives of the Department of State Services (DSS) raided his house in Soka area of Ibadan, Oyo State. During the raid, the DSS arrested 12 aides of Igboho and also allegedly recovered arms and ammunitions. Igboho, who escaped from the hands of the DSS was placed on a wanted list.
Following the activist’s arrest in Cotonou, the Nigerian government has reportedly been engaging with the Beninoise authorities over the extradition process of Igboho.
However, Benin Republic which operates a strict law and constitution has refused to give in to the request, as reports claim Igboho is allegedly being tried for committing a crime on the Beninoise soil.
Meanwhile, Ibrahim Salami, one of the Benin Republic-based lawyers of Sunday Igboho had disclosed that the court was still awaiting the extradition charges from the Nigerian government.
While reacting to the viral reports that Igboho is being tried on immigration-related issues, Salami debunked the allegations, saying that only a Nigerian passport was found on the Yoruba rights activist.
He added that his client was not being tried for possessing a fake passport.
The lawyer had said, “When he left Nigeria, he took the backdoor into Benin. It was at the airport that security operatives stopped him that he was on the watchlist. He didn’t go against any law in Benin Republic. They didn’t find any Beninese passport on him. He had a Nigerian passport with a German residency card. He needed no visa at that point.
“When we understudied the case, we realised that the Nigerian government had not filed a case for extradition. They only claimed that he is wanted in Nigeria for criminal offences. Our argument is that he was arrested because of Nigeria’s request, and there is no proof to show that he is a criminal.”