By Oluwole Ige
Spirited efforts by the Federal Government to fast track the extradition of Yoruba nation activist, Chief Sunday Adeyemo, popularly known as Sunday Ighoho may have hit the rocks as he will be tried for obtaining fake Beninoise international passport in Cotonou, capital of the Republic of Benin, Nigerian Tribune has authoritatively gathered.
Though details of what transpired in the court on Thursday when Igboho was brought, alongside his wife, Ropo were still sketchy, our sources informed Nigerian Tribune that authorities in the neighbouring West African nation insisted on a fair trial for Igboho on immigration offence before considering the demand of Nigerian government over his extradition.
According to the source, the Beninoise government said it will not handle a request for extradition without first trying him for the local offence he was arrested for.
Igboho was arrested on Monday night in Cadjèhoun Airport, Cotonou with a “fake” Beninoise passport while trying to flee to Germany. The Nigerian government, through its Ambassador to the Benin Republic, Tukur Buratai, had mounted pressure on the Beninoise government on extraditing Igboho to Nigeria.
It was gathered that the former Chief of Army Staff wrote two letters to the government of the West African country and insisted on the arrest and extradition of Igboho.
Buratai had in the letters described the activist as a terrorist and murderer.
“Nigeria had written two letters to the West African state, describing Igboho as a terrorist and murderer. The first letter was written on July 7th. A second letter describing his bodily features was passed on to the Benin Republic on Wednesday.
He is expected to be arraigned for immigration-related offences in Benin Republic on Thursday after a deft move by the Buhari government to bring him back to Nigeria.
Meanwhile, Igboho hired a Beninoise lawyer identified as Rafael Huvehnou. Huvehnou is currently an attorney to the President of the Benin Republic.
“Igboho had given a statement to the police. He was travelling with a Beninoise passport adjudged to be fake.