Yoruba nation agitator, Sunday Adeyemo, also known as Sunday Igboho, has regained freedom after over two years of incarceration in the Republic of Benin.
A video clip showing Mr Adeyemo announcing his freedom and appreciating his supporters circulated on social media platforms on Sunday.
“I am now free to return to Nigeria and visit any country in the world,” he also told Tribune Newspaper.
“I have fulfilled all the legal conditions attached to my bail a few years back and I am coming home to Nigeria, my country of origin, any moment from now.p
“I can confirm to you that I am now free to come back to Nigeria. There is no legal encumbrance again,” he added.
Mr Adeyemo was decked in white and seated on a plastic chair as he read out a prepared speech in the video clip circulating online on Sunday.
He thanked “sons and daughters” of Yoruba all over the world for their support, and also singled out a leading figure of the Yoruba nation agitation, Banji Akintoye; Nobel Laureate, Wole Soyinka, and former President Olusegun Obasanjo, for their roles in securing his release.
He also acknowledged the sympathetic gestures he received over the death of her mother during his incarceration. He said that her body was still being kept in the morgue for him to return to give her a befitting burial.
Mr Adeyemo came to the limelight after he, in January 2021, issued a seven-day ultimatum to Fulani residents in Igangan in Ibarapa Local Government Area of Oyo State to leave to check kidnappings allegedly perpetrated in the area by herders linked to the ethnic group.
He would later lead a mob to burn down the house of the Seriki Fulani of Oyo State, Saliu Abdulkadri, in the community.
He soon became a target of the State Security Service (SSS) as he became more aggressive in his campaigns against herdsmen accused of kidnapping in South-west states, and agitation for the Yoruba nation.
He touted his agitation as the only way to liberate Yoruba people from insufferable attacks and being shortchanged in the Nigeria nation.
He was declared wanted by the State Security Service (SSS) over his agitation for Yoruba nation sovereignty.
SSS operatives would invade Sunday Igboho’s house, located in Soka, Ibadan, capital of Oyo State was invaded around 1:00 a.m. on 1 July 2021.
The spokesperson for the SSS, Peter Afunnaya, later said seven AK 47 rifles, pump action guns and 5,000 rounds of ammunition and other weapons were recovered from the apartment.
His vehicles, including his G-wagon, and Prado Jeep, and some valuable properties including furniture, and windows were destroyed.
He said security operatives recovered the weapons after a “hot gun duel between them and Igboho’s guards”. The SSS also admitted that two of Mr Igboho’s men were killed in the process while a security agent was shot in the right hand and hospitalised.
Mr Igboho later said the weapons were not his and that security operatives planted ammunition in his house to implicate him.
The secret police also declared Mr Igboho wanted.
On 19 July 2021, the campaigner for Yoruba self-determination was arrested in neighbouring Cotonou, Benin Republic, while trying to travel to Germany.
A local newspaper in the neighbouring country, Banouto, quoted Beninise authorities as saying Mr Igboho was nabbed at Cardinal Bernardin International Airport in Cotonou.
He was “disembarked from his plane, arrested by the Beninese police while he was trying to travel to Germany and then transferred to the Cotonou Criminal Brigade.”
On 17 September 2021, a judge of the Oyo State High Court awarded N20 billion cost “as exemplary and aggravated damage” against the State Security Services (SSS) over the invasion of Igboho’s residence on 1 July 2021.
However, the Court of Appeal in Ibadan in August 2022 nullified the N20 billion judgement because the lower court lacked jurisdiction to hear the case.