Igboho’s lawyers kick as Benin Republic plots to deport activist to Nigeria
Pelumi Olajengbesi, a prominent member of the legal team of Yoruba Nation agitator, Sunday Adeyemo popularly called Sunday Igboho, has kicked against move by the government of Benin Republic to deport the activist back to Nigeria.
According to PUNCH, a security source has disclosed that there are strong indications that Igboho may be deported to Nigeria, where operatives of the Nigeria Police Force would arrest him.
However, Igboho’s lawyers have kicked against the move, saying that it was against international law.
The publication reported that sources in the French West Africa speaking country disclosed that Benin Republic government was not ready to engage in diplomatic crisis with Nigeria.
One of the sources, who work with Benin’s INTERPOL National Central Bureau said charges against Igboho were punishable by deportation, fine or imprisonment.
The security officer revealed that “our intelligence gathering showed that it is unhealthy to jail Igboho here (Benin Republic).”
The senior NCB officer added, “Yes, he was detained for fresh charges. While he was initially with Brigade Criminelle facility, he made useful confessions. His lawyers also know that he is guilty of irregular migration.”
Another official said “The least punishment Igboho can be given is to be deported to the country he came from (Nigeria) if found guilty. The Nigerian authorities can take over from there if they wish.”
An official of the Department of State Services confirmed that “Yes, he is wanted. We have the mandate to arrest him if he steps into Nigeria. That is not hidden.”
PUNCH reported that Olajengbesi, a Nigerian-based counsel for Igboho, said the plan would fail.
He said, “I am aware that the Federal Government through the former Chief of Army Staff Tukur Buratai is making effort to get him deported. We can say that clearly.
“So, far the facts available before the court have nothing to do with Nigeria government.
“We have nothing to worry about because the Benin Republic government has shown that it will operate within the precinct of the law. For us, we believe that Igboho is a criminal of conscience who has taken effort to liberate his people.”
Also, Olasupo Ojo, the Coordinating counsel for Igboho, warned that deporting Igboho for Nigeria to arrest him was against international law.
“It is illegal under international law to send back somebody who escaped to save his life. You cannot send him to the country where there is ample evidence that his life is at stake, endangered. It will bounce back heavily on Benin Republic if they do that,” he said.
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