Home Judiciary Instead of extradition process, Benin Republic files criminals charges against Igboho

Instead of extradition process, Benin Republic files criminals charges against Igboho


A court in Benin has ordered that a Nigerian separatist leader being held in the country be moved to prison from police custody.

Sunday Adeyemo, also known as Sunday Igboho, is accused of entering the country illegally and planning to cause trouble but he denied the charges.

He was arrested at a Benin airport last week on Nigeria’s request.

But the Nigerian authorities have been silent since his arrest and have not made a formal extradition request.

Instead, he is now being investigated in Benin for criminal associations there and he made a second court appearance in Cotonou on Monday.

Why was he picked up in Benin?

He was arrested in Benin just over a week ago alongside his wife. She has now been released.

Reports say they were headed for Germany where his wife is a citizen.

Nigeria accuses Mr Adeyemo of stockpiling weapons, calling for the break-up of the country and inciting ethnic killings.

But his supporters say he is a political prisoner who is being persecuted for defending his Yoruba people who are being attacked by some Fulani herdsmen.

Why did he leave Nigeria?

He fled the country after a raid on his home by Nigeria’s secret police in early July where two of his associates were killed.

Twelve others who were arrested during the raid have not been taken to court.

In recent weeks, Nigeria has been cracking down on separatist activists. In late June, Nnamdi Kanu, who wants a breakaway state of Biafra in the south-east, was detained in Nigeria.

He was arrested in an unnamed foreign country and brought back to Nigeria.

His lawyers allege he was abducted in Kenya where he was tortured but the authorities there have denied the accusations.

Can he be extradited from Benin?

Mr Adeyemo’s legal team say Nigeria was hoping for a repeat of a swift extradition of their client when he was arrested in Cotonou. They say that a private jet was fuelled and ready to fly him across the border.

But unlike in Mr Kanu’s case, the authorities in Benin have got involved.

A 1984 extradition treaty between West African neighbours: Nigeria, Togo, Benin and Ghana, excludes those wanted for political reasons.



Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here