By Uche Amunike
The Beninese government has extended the detention of popular Yoruba nation activist, Sunday Adeyemo, popularly called Sunday Igboho, by another six months.
Recall that Sunday Igboho was arrested on July 19 2021 by the International Criminal Police Organization at the Cadjèhoun Airport in Cotonou, the Republic of Benin, owing to the bloody raid on his Soka residence in Ibadan, Oyo State, by the Department of State Service, DSS, after he fled Nigeria to the Benin Republic on his way to Germany.
The Department of State Services (DSS) declared him wanted after allegedly discovering weapons in his Ibadan residence.
Days later he was arraigned before the Court D’Appel De Cotonou, which adjourned the case till the Monday after and then, indefinitely adjourned it on the grounds of the case being investigated against Igboho.
Even though Abuja-based human rights lawyer, Pelumi Olajengbesi, who has since resigned from the team of Nigerian lawyers defending Igboho had claimed over the weekend, in a Facebook post that the 49-year-old Sunday Igboho was soon to regain freedom that will attract wild jubilation across the Yoruba nation, Counsel to the detained activist, Chief Yomi Aliyu, SAN, confirmed that his client’s incarceration had indeed been extended by six months.
Olajengbesi’s post on Facebook read: ‘Chief Sunday Igboho will be out very soon and there will be massive jubilation across the entire Yoruba land. He is no doubt a courageous man. This is very authoritative, just that our Yoruba leaders should stop being selfish and allow good to prevail’.
Chief Aliyu however stated that there was no criminal charge or extradition request from Nigeria against Sunday Igboho who has now spent over 202 days in Benin Republic prison.
His words: ‘contrary to what was speculated in the news by a lawyer, the government of the Republic of Benin has renewed the incarceration of Chief Sunday Adeyemo a.k.a Igboho Oosa for another six months even though there is no criminal charge in their file in Cotonou and without extradition request from Nigeria’.
He described the latest development as a blow to the hope that had already been generated among his teeming supporters after reading Olajengbesi’s announcement of Igboho’s imminent release, especially as they had been duly worried about his prolonged stay of over 200 days in detention in a foreign country.
So far, all efforts to get Sunday Igboho released have met a brick wall.
Meanwhile, former Senator representing Kaduna Central, Shehu Sani has reacted to the latest news reports that the Beninese government has extended Sunday Igboho attention by 6 months, describing it as inhuman and condemnable. Even though he made it clear that he condemned Igboho’s separatist activities, he absolutely frowned against the Beninese government’s unjustifiable extension of the activist’s detention by another six months.
He tweeted thus: ‘I don’t support Igboho’s separatist ideas and activities in any way, but the reported extension of his detention by six months is inhuman and condemnable.’
On his part however, Igboho’s lawyer, Aliyu, has said that he would meet with the Court of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS Court) to fight the extended incarceration of his client.