Labake IDOWU

Professor Ibrahim David Salami, one of the five Cotonou-based lawyers of Yoruba Nation agitator, Sunday Adeyemo aka Sunday Igboho, has said the police in Benin Republic handcuffed the hands of the activist despite detaining him in a locked cell.

Salami spoke on Saturday in a Facebook Live Interview with BBC News Yoruba monitored by security

He said, “We are five lawyers handling his case. When we visited Sunday Adeyemo at the police station, he was not beaten but what they did that is alien to the law here is that they handcuffed him inside the police cell after locking the cell. This makes eating and movement within the cell difficult for him to the extent that someone has been helping him in this regard.

“Apart from being a lawyer, I am also a professor of law at a university here in Benin Republic. Part of what we teach our students is human rights. Human rights frown at the action of the police.

“I called the attention of the police commander and the prosecutor to this but still nothing changed. At the moment, Sunday Igboho’s hands are in chains at the police station. This is not good at all.”

According to him, the case shall continue in two other courts in line with due process of the law of the country.

Salami however was optimistic that everything shall be concluded on Monday.

He said Beninise court ruled on Thursday that Igboho’s Germany-based wife, Ropo, should be released unconditionally as there were no charges against her.

The court, however, ruled that Igboho be remanded in police custody till the next week when sitting would resume in the French-speaking court.

Salami also revealed the charges levelled against Igboho which led to the arrest of the agitator alongside his wife at an airport in Cotonou, Republic of Benin last Monday.

The lawyer said there were three reasons given by the Nigerian government to request arrest of Igboho by Benin Republic as stated in the charges against the agitator in court last Thursday.

“Nigerian government said Igboho was involved in arms trafficking into Nigeria.

“The second one is that he is causing disturbance in Nigeria and the third one is that he is trying to divide Nigeria into two or three,” said Salami

He added that Nigeria has not provided proof of the allegations.

“When we saw the case in court, we discovered that the Nigerian government has not requested for his extradition. What is there is that the Nigerian government said they wanted to arrest Igboho because he committed certain offences in Nigeria and that if he is seen in Benin Republic he should be arrested.

“But what we are not happy about is that Igboho has not committed any offence here and if he is arrested here, it is because of the Nigerian government

“And before he should be arrested, there should be proof that he has violated Nigerian law, but we don’t have that here now.

“What we don’t want to happen if for him to be detained here so that the Nigerian government will perfect the process of his extradition.

He added that sending Igboho back to Nigeria will be like sending him to his death given what happened when security operatives raided the Ibadan residence of the agitator.

Salami said he and other lawyers are determined to ensure that that did not happen.

“What is important to us is that never, never – we must not allow Igboho to be extradited to Nigeria, because if we allow that, the way security operatives have been harassing him, we would have sent him to his death.”

He further revealed that lawyers are working to get a refuge status for Igboho in Benin Republic, so that he can stay in the country if he cannot to travel to Germany after his court case.

It will be recalled that Sunday Igboho and wife Ropo, were arrested at the Cadjèhoun Airport in Cotonou on Monday while they tried to catch a flight to Germany.

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