Sunday Igboho: In court, FG and Beninese lawyers fight over extradition
Beninese lawyers were involved in a judicial battle yesterday over the Federal Government’s attempt to extradite Yoruba nation campaigner Chief Sunday Adeyemo, also known as Sunday Igboho, to Nigeria.
Igboho’s lawyers argued that because he (Igboho) did not commit any crime against the Benin Republic, he should be released, arguing that any attempt to send him back to Nigeria would endanger his life, especially in light of the Department of State Service (DSS) operatives’ invasion of his home in Ibadan last month.
Journalists and a large number of his followers were prohibited from seeing the proceedings at the Cour D’appel De Cotonou in Benin Republic yesterday before they began.
The Nigerian government has been pressuring Beninese authorities to extradite Ighoho to the country. Remember that Igboho and his wife were detained at Cotonou’s Cardinal Bernardin International Airport on their route to Germany on Monday.
Last weekend, though, his wife, Ropo, was liberated and her passport was handed back to her.
Igboho’s supporters who had traveled to Cotonou to witness his trial were dispersed by police earlier yesterday.
Security personnel appeared at the courthouse in two Hilux vans, according to Vanguard, and demanded that everyone leave, including journalists.
According to one of the police officers, the president of the court called and ordered that everyone save lawyers be escorted out of the court.
As they expelled supporters and media from the courtroom, all of the officers wore black masks and brandished hefty firearms.
Igboho was believed to have been taken into court as early as 7 a.m., but was allegedly rushed into the prosecutor’s chambers, denying the public access to him.
Journalists are not permitted in the courtroom.
Journalists, monarchs, and supporters who came to the court for the trial were prevented from seeing the proceedings following the trial. “The press was not permitted into the courtroom,” a source at the Cotonou courthouse told Vanguard.
However, additional Yoruba leaders and monarchs backed Yoruba activists yesterday, as the Aare-Ona-Kakanfo of Yorubaland, Iba Gani Adams, rallied ten important Benin Republic monarchs.
Igboho’s leg chain and shackles are removed by Benin security personnel.
Maxwell Adeleye, the Communications Manager for Ilana Omo Oodua, gave an update on Igboho’s case before a Cotonou court, saying that Igboho was not under any immigration investigation in Benin Republic.
“We are happy to notify the Yoruba people and well-wishers that security operatives in Benin Republic have removed Chief Igboho’s leg chain and handcuffs since Saturday evening,” he stated.
“Chief Igboho’s wife has now been given three daily meetings with her husband.
“Our legal team provided medical personnel to evaluate Chief Sunday Adeyemo. We emphasize that Chief Igboho is not the subject of any immigration-related investigation in the Republic of Benin.
“Chief Adeyemo is expected to appear in court in Benin Republic this morning (yesterday) to face extradition charges presented by the Nigerian government.
“We strongly advise Nigerian supporters not to visit the courthouse in Bénin. Stay in Nigeria and lend a hand with prayers and whatever else you can, within the bounds of the law. Chief Igboho will be released free, we are confident.”
Gani Adams rallies Beninese rulers in support of the Igboho people.
Meanwhile, Iba Adams, the Yoruba country’s Aare-Ona-Kakanfo, has assembled ten notable Benin Republic monarchs to back the Yoruba nation agitation.
The kings were tasked with playing both traditional and fatherly duties in ensuring that the Igboho people’s claim to independence was not abused or misjudged.
In a statement released by Adams’ Special Assistant on Media, Kehinde Aderemi, the Aare Onakakanfo of Yorubaland, as well as other traditional rulers, said it is the duty of the Aare Onakakanfo of Yorubaland and other traditional rulers to support Igboho during this difficult time, adding that the case against Igboho should not be taken lightly.
“I am not happy with the way the Federal Government is handling Sunday Igboho’s situation, and I have made my feelings known to the rest of the world,” he stated. I’ve also convened a meeting of over ten major Yoruba monarchs in the Republic of Benin to examine the potential of releasing Igboho and ensuring his unconditional release.
“Going forward, I believe we must support him because we are all fighting for the emancipation of our race, and whatever happens to the Igboho affects us all. And, while the journey did not begin with him, it will undoubtedly not end with him, because the struggle for self-determination is one of our legitimate rights, which we are prepared to defend with all our might.”
The need to seek the monarchs’ participation became necessary because of the delicate nature of the issue, according to Adams, who said that the 10 renowned monarchs were in the best position to engage with the authorities in the Republic of Benin to guarantee Igboho received justice.
The Alajowun of Ajowun land, Oba Signon Adekilumo, led the ten monarchs in an emergency meeting for the oppressed Yoruba nation agitator.
Other notables included Alajase of Ajase-Ile, Porto-Novo, Oba Alajase Onikoyi, Onitowe of Towe land, Oba Shitu Adeleke, Ologunba of Ogunba, Oba Adio Ogunju, Oniohorije of Ohori land, Oba Awelede Salomon, Onimasse of Mase land, Oba Akerekoro, Palais
Afenifere warns the FG to stop harassing pro-democracy activists.
Afenifere, a pan-Yoruba sociopolitical group, praised the Olubadan of Ibadan, Oba Saliu Adetunji, Aje Oguguniso I, for dispatching a delegation to Cotonou, Benin Republic, where Mr. Sunday Adeyemo is on trial.
Adeyemo Igboho is the spearhead of Yoruba nationalism campaigners.
Pa Ayo Adebanjo and Jare Ajayi, the acting leader and national publicity secretary of Afenifere, praised the monarch for sending a delegation to the court in Cotonou where the Yoruba agitator is being tried.
Afenifere also praised the Ooni of Ife, Oba Eniitan Ogunwusi, Ojaja II, for establishing the Ooni Caucus last week to address a variety of Yoruba-related concerns, including the current Igboho woes.
In a similar spirit, certain kingdoms and Yoruba communities in the Benin Republic have mobilized in support of Igboho.
Afenifere praised them for ensuring that an Oduduwa son, Igboho, was not treated unfairly.
Afenifere invited other Yorubaland obas and important figures to follow in the footsteps of the Olubadan and Ooni.
“It is very terrible that President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration is focusing on pursuing and harassing individuals seeking refuge from Nigeria’s harsh condition, while ignoring the threats of kidnapping, terrorism, and antics verging on ethnic cleansing,” the statement continued.
On the legitimacy of Sunday Igboho attempting to flee to another country, Afenifere insisted that there was nothing unusual or wrong with it, noting that history was littered with examples of new-order conveyors seeking sanctuary outside their surrounding environment.
“We recall that Moses had to be transported away from Pharaoh’s and his agents’ prying eyes in Egypt. In order to avoid persecution, Prophet Muhammed (SAW) had to flee his hometown of Mecca for Medina.
“Therefore, there is nothing wrong with an Igboho requesting respite in order to preserve his life and possibly re-strategize.”
Afenifere, on the other hand, accused the Federal Government of pursuing freedom activists while ignoring those suspected of being involved in terrorism in the country.
“By its actions, the government is encouraging people to believe that it is pursuing a Fulanisation agenda. Harassment of freedom fighters and innocent citizens must end immediately, according to the statement.
A court has ordered the release of 48 Yoruba separatists.
Meanwhile, a Lagos Chief Magistrate’s Court in Yaba yesterday cancelled the bail of one of the Yoruba Nation’s agitators, Tajudeen Bakare (the popular Ogboni Chief), after the police accused him of murdering a sachet water hawker, Jumoke Oyeleke, who was killed by a stray bullet during the protest.
Mr. Hakeem Odumosu, the Lagos State Commissioner of Police, had charged the 48 Yoruba Nation demonstrators apprehended in Ojota, Lagos, on Saturday, July 3, 2021, before a Magistrate Court in Yaba.
The remaining 48 suspects who were apprehended in the Ojota region of Lagos State for allegedly engaging in a Yoruba nation demonstration would be released if their bail terms are met, according to Chief Magistrate Adeola Adedayo.
Olasunkanmi Tanimola, Adeleye Oluwafemi, Kabiru Lawanson, Chinemerem Emma-nuel, Rasak Musibau, Lukman Olalade Shared Kareem, Olasanmi Oladipupo, Bashiru Shutu, Lawal Hakeem, Taofeek Abdulsalam, Olamilekan Abata, Abdullahi Sikiru, Tosin Adeleye, and
Other notables include Oba Tajudeen Bakare, Adeyemi Shegu, Adedayo Adebanjo, Abiodun Adenuga, Bamidele Akomolafe, Akinbounje Sunday, Odumakin Akeem, Babatunde Adeyemi, Samuel Ibe, Agbeniyi Olanrewaju, Adetayo Azeez, Adeshina Ibrahim, Ayomide Akiny
Adewale Muyiwa, Ogundimu Opeyemi, Ifeoluwa Idowu, Balogun Abiodun Taiwo, Ferg Lasheu, Inadu Balogun, Akintunde Idowu, and Dauda Abubakar make up the remainder of the team.
The order came after Chief Raymond Olaiya, who led the defense team of lawyers, filed an affidavit of urgency and a bail application.
The suspects were each granted bail of N300,000, with two sureties in the same amount.
To complete the bail condition, the court ordered that one of the sureties be a traditional authority or religious leader, as well as a relative.
Despite the fact that the demonstrators were ordered to be remanded in police custody until the outcome of the police inquiry, Adedayo believes they should not be malnourished or held in inhumane prison circumstances.
On June 12, 2002, the protesters allegedly convened a gathering at Gani Fawehinmi Freedom Park to promote Yoruba Nation agitation.
The demonstrators, according to Hakeem Odumosu, Lagos State Commissioner of Police, broke the state’s rally restriction.
The suspects, on the other hand, claimed that they were framed by cops. Some of them claimed to be in transit, claiming that they were stopped by the police at Ojota garage, a major terminal in Lagos, at random.
The 48 suspects were allegedly detained in a room and starved by the police, according to the affidavit of urgency.
Following that, the police filed an exparte motion under Sections 6 and 35 of the Constitution, Section 4 of the Police Act, and Section 267 of the Administration of Criminal Justice Act (ACJA) to get a remand order from the Court.
“They were charged for unlawful assembly, unlawful society, and behaviors likely to cause breach of public peace,” Maxwell Adeleye, the Communications Manager of Ilana Omo Oodua, IOO, said in a statement.
“However, Tajudeen Bakare (the popular Ogboni Chief), one of the arrested demonstrators, was charged by the police with the death of a satchet water hawker, Jumoke Oyeleke, who was killed by a stray bullet during the protest.
“The court affirmed the bail granted to all of the demonstrators, although Bakare’s was cancelled. Bakare’s case was submitted to the Director of Public Prosecutions, or DPP, for further advice.”