Sunday Igboho wept, chained like animal in Cotonou, lawyer alleges

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Following the arrest of Chief Sunday Adeyemo (aka Sunday Igboho) on Monday, his legal representative, Chief Yomi Alliyu has alleged that his client is facing inhuman treatment, as his legs and hands are allegedly tied like an animal in police custody in Cotonou, Republic of Benin. 

The lawyer, in a statement he released on Tuesday, claimed that Igboho is being treated less than an animal in police custody, based on what he termed “order from above,” and may appear before a court today for an extradition order.

“Just about three minutes ago, I got a call from a reliable source from the authorities in the Republic of Benin that Sunday Igboho has been put in a very dehumanising condition in a police cell in Cotonou.

“The source told me that they are under instruction by an order from the above that Igboho should be chained like an animal waiting to be slaughtered. He told me that Igboho was tightly chained to the floor and he is in serious pains.

“While I was talking to the source by telephone, I can hear our client crying and asking that the chains be removed and that he is in pains. But I can hear one officer telling him that they cannot remove the chains as they are acting on instruction,” he said in the statement.

Aliyu insisted that the extradition order being sought by the Nigerian authorities may not likely sail through, given the status of Igboho as a political offender.

“I know that our client, Chief Sunday Adeyemo (aka Sunday Igboho Oosa), would be taken to a court in Cotonou, the capital of the Republic of Benin, tomorrow [today].

“The Nigerian authorities and security operatives that arrested him would be approaching the court for an extradition order to bring Sunday Igboho back to Nigeria.

“But it is not likely that the extradition order being sought for would sail through. This is because of the status of our client as a political offender who enjoys immunity against extradition. Like I said in a press release earlier today, even his arrest by security operatives was against the political nature of his offence.

“There is an existing ex- tradition treaty between four West African countries of Nigeria, Togo, Ghana and Benin Republic, which grants Igboho immunity from being extradited from the Republic of Benin.

“The Extradition Treaty of 1984 between Togo, Nigeria, Ghana and Republic of Benin excluded political fugitives. It also states that where the fugitive will not get justice because of discrimination and/ or undue delay in prosecution, the host country should not release the fugitive.

“Article 20 of African Charter on Human and Peoples Rights to which the four countries are signatories made agitation for self-determination a fundamental right to be protected by all countries,” he said.

The lawyer had earlier on Tuesday issued a statement wherein he detailed the travails of his client.

He said, “It is a shocking news that Nigerian government has gotten Chief Sunday Adeyemo a.k.a Sunday Igboho Oosa arrested by INTERPOL in Republic of Benin, notwithstanding the political nature of his offence and what the DSS earlier said that they refrained from ar- resting him so as not to over-heat the polity of southwestern Nigeria.

“It is advisable for the INTERPOL and Benin Republic to be aware of the savagery acts committed in our client’s house in the wee hours of July 1, 2021; between 1.00 a.m. and 3.00 a.m.; shooting their way through and killing two people in the process and maliciously damaging his properties in the course of that illegal invasion.

“Though the invading DSS officers did not state any reason for their invasion to our client, before or during invasion, they later paraded 13 people and ammunition which our client denied being his, as he is a peaceful campaigner for self-determination, and it is on good record that the guns and ammunition displayed were the same displayed in 2013 in another instance.

“This could be seen on 2013 Facebook though DSS has dismissed this on their website. But what they cannot deny is that when they were leaving our client’s house, they left with two corpses and people arrested and nothing more except two guns, belonging to the police escorts of Mr Adisa Saheed Olalekan.

“One of the people they killed was one Mr Saheed Adisa Olalekan of Oladams Motors, Osogbo, who came to Sunday Igboho’s house to discuss auto business. He came with two police escorts. Though the policemen were not among the people paraded to the public, their guns were among those displayed.”

He claimed that Igboho cannot get justice if he is extradited to Nigeria, adding that those arrested in his house had been detained for more than 21 days without access to their lawyers. “We urge the good government of the Republic of Benin and international community, especially Germany, to rise up and curb the impunity of the Nigerian government by refusing any application for extradition of our client, who already has application before ICC duly acknowledged,” he had stated.

The news of his detention came after he had earlier been reported to have escaped to Germany with his wife, Ropo, though his lawyer had insisted that he was not aware of his release. Nigerian government has also maintained a sealed lip about the drama of his arrest.

The freedom fighter is on the wanted list of the Nigerian government, with the International Police (INTERPOL) expected to pick him up wherever he is seen and extradited to Nigeria.

The bilateral agreement between Nigeria and other friendly nations has seen wanted Nigerians forcibly brought back home, with the latest being Igbo separatist leader, Nnamdi Kanu. Sunday Igboho was said to have been picked up at Cotonou international airport en route to Germany. Efforts to get an official response to the Igboho saga failed.

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