Sunday Adeyemo, also known as Sunday Igboho, a Yoruba Nation campaigner, may have been trapped in a Benin Republic prison after spending exactly five months in detention since his arrest at the Cadjèhoun Airport in Cotonou around 8 p.m. on July 19, 2021.
Furthermore, the Cour De’appal De Cotonou has not met since Igboho’s arraignment on July 27, 2021, fueling conjecture that Igboho’s incarceration has political overtones.
In the last five months, his protracted incarceration has quelled Yoruba Nation agitations, as his supporters and colleagues have gone underground, postponing secessionist gatherings as was done in the South-West before the agitator’s near-perpetual experience.
Banji Akintoye, an arrowhead for self-determination and Igboho’s tutor in the movement, had since left Nigeria for Benin Republic after learning that the President’s regime, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd. ), was plotting his arrest.
The 86-year-old history professor has yet to return to Nigeria.
In 2021, the Buhari administration turned on separatist agitators and descended on their arrowheads, notably Igboho, who advocated for the South-West to leave Nigeria due to perceived injustice and insecurity.
The Department of State Services raided Igboho’s Ibadan apartment in a Gestapo-style raid on July 1, 2021, about 2 a.m., murdering two of his companions and detaining 12 others.
Bullets were reportedly fired at the agitator’s expensive automobiles and home in the Soka district of Oyo State.
Igboho was then designated sought by the DSS for allegedly stockpiling weaponry to destabilize Nigeria under the guise of secessionist movement, which he has since rejected.
Igboho, 49, eventually made his way to Cotonou and planned to flee to Germany on an Air France Cotonou-Paris-Hamburg aircraft, but the voyage was thwarted when Interpol apprehended him and his German-citizen wife, Ropo, at the airport.
The two were apprehended by Interpol at the airport at the request of the Nigerian government.
The Beninese government then charged the agitator with migration-related offenses and gunrunning before the Cour De’appal De Cotonou, but on July 27, 2021, the court allowed Ropo’s freedom while Igboho was held in prison.
It was learned that Ropo now shuttles between Germany, where her children live, and Cotonou, where her husband is incarcerated.
Since then, the court has not opened the case, and all efforts by Igboho’s lawyers in both Nigeria and Benin Republic have failed to secure his release, as the Buhari regime’s representatives in the Francophone West African country, led by Nigerian Ambassador to the Republic of Benin, Lt. Gen. Tukur Buratai (retd. ), have pressed for his extradition.
Speaking with Sunday PUNCH, the spokesperson for Akintoye, Maxwell Adeleye, said the Yoruba self-determination group, Ilana Omo Oodua, led by the renowned scholar was optimistic that Igboho would be released.
“Benin Republic Government will soon toe the path of reasoning. We are hopeful that logic will prevail and Igboho will be released to go anywhere he wants to go because he has not committed any offence against the people of Nigeria and the Benin Republic,” he said.