The Federal Government can’t intimidate Yoruba Nation agitators, Olayomi Koiki, spokesman for embattled activist, Sunday Adeyemo aka Sunday Igboho, has said.
Koiki made this known in a Facebook Live address on Wednesday morning as his principal spends his second night in a police cell in Cotonou, Benin Republic.
“We are not going to allow the government to intimidate us. We are not going to allow the Federal Government and politicians to deceive us.
“We must remain strong and remain calm as we get freedom for Chief Sunday Igboho and the Yoruba race,” he said.
It had earlier been reported that Igboho and his wife, who is a German citizen, were arrested on Monday night at the Cadjèhoun airport in Cotonou, Benin Republic, one of Nigeria’s neighbouring countries in the West African sub-region. Igboho was arrested while he tried to catch a flight to Germany with his wife.
The activist and his wife were said to have been arrested by INTERPOL at the behest of the Federal Government of Nigeria.
Lead counsel for Igboho, Yomi Alliyu ( SAN), described as inhuman, the treatment his client was being subjected to in the custody of the police in Benin Republic.
He said, “They chained him in the cell where they put him in Cotonou. There was a fracas at the airport yesterday when he was arrested. They hit him in the hand and that same hand was handcuffed, he is in pains and he was weeping like a child when I called, I heard him.
“The wife too was put in a separate cell but they didn’t chain the wife. He was crying, the wife was crying too cease he was writhing in pains seriously. We only pray they don’t pay anybody to kill him. You don’t out somebody in cell and still chain the person.
It was learnt that Nigeria’s Ambassador to the Benin Republic, Lt. Gen. Tukur Buratai (retd.), has been pushing for the extradition of Igboho and his wife to Nigeria.
But Alliyu argued that “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.”
The senior advocate, who described the arrest of his client as shocking, urged the government of Germany, Benin Republic and the international community “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 the International Criminal Court duly acknowledged”.
The Nigerian secret police had raided Igboho’s Ibadan residence in the Soka area on July 1, 2021, arrested about 12 of his aides and killed two of them in a gun duel.
The Federal Government of Nigeria had placed the Nigeria Immigration Service and the Nigeria Customs Service on alert to stop Igboho from leaving the country.