By Sodiq Oyeleke
Cour De’Appel De Cotonou has returned Yoruba Nation agitator, Sunday Adeyemo, popular known as Sunday Igboho, to police custody pending further investigation.
The activist was returned to cell after a 13-hour hearing, which ended around 11:20 pm on Monday.
The case was heard behind closed doors as the court limited attendance to lawyers, Igboho’s wife, Ropo, and a few others.
Journalists and Igboho’s supporters who thronged the court in their large numbers were denied access.
Details of the judgment are sketchy as of the time of filing this report.
The PUNCH had reported that police dispersed the supporters and journalists from the premises of the Cour De’appel De Cotonou.
But some of the supporters reconverged at Marina Roundabout some minutes after, awaiting judgement.
Igboho and his wife were arrested on Monday, July 19, 2021, by the International Criminal Police Organisation at the Cadjèhoun Airport in Cotonou, Republic of Benin on their way to Germany
When they were arraigned last Thursday, the Beninese court adjourned the case till Monday (today) after Igboho’s five lawyers failed to convince the prosecutor that he had no case to answer.
The lawyers had after Thursday’s hearing said that prosecutors claimed Igboho was on a watchlist for alleged trafficking in arms, inciting violence that could result in social disturbance and causing disunity in Nigeria.
On what Igboho is to be tried for today, Communications Manager, Ilana Omo Oodua, Maxwell Adeleye, said, “We reiterate that Chief Ighoho is not under any immigration-related probe in Benin Republic.
“Chief Sunday Adeyemo will appear in court this morning in Benin Republic to face the likely extradition charges to be brought against him by the Nigerian Government.”
Ibrahim Salami, one of the Cotonou, Benin Republic-based lawyers of Sunday Igboho had said on Saturday that extradition charges were been expected from the Nigerian government.
The counsel insisted that only a Nigerian passport was found on the Yoruba rights activist, adding that he was not being tried for possessing a fake passport.
Following the bloody raid on his Sooka residence in Ibadan, Oyo State, the Department of State Services had earlier claimed local and international driving licences in his name. ATM cards, a German residence permit No. YO2N6K1NY bearing his name, and a passport were allegedly recovered.
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.
“He was arrested because of Nigeria’s request, and there is no proof to show that he is a criminal.” (Punch)