Authorities of the Republic of Benin have rejected moves by the Muhammadu Buhari-led administration to quickly extradite Sunday Adeyemo, popularly known as Sunday Igboho.
It has been gathered that the Federal Government planned to extradite the activist on Wednesday (yesterday) to the headquarters of the Department of State Security (DSS) in Abuja but the Benin Republic insisted on following due process.
A source ThePUNCH that, “The Nigerian government planned to extradite him on Wednesday, but our government said the rule of law must be followed as the world is watching us.”
One of Igboho’s lawyers, Pelumi Olajengbesi, commended Benin Republic for showing that it respects the rule of law and due process.
The lawyer noted that despite pressure from the Buhari government, Benin officials had insisted on following due process including a repatriation hearing to determine whether or not Igboho was guilty of charges leveled against him by the DSS.
He said, “The disposition of Benin Republic is that it is a country that respects the rule of law. We are making efforts that he is not repatriated wrongly to Nigeria.
“We are ensuring that everything is done in accordance with the law and we are very hopeful that we would succeed because we expect that there should be a repatriation hearing before they can extradite him if at all they would do that.”
A source familiar with the matter, who spoke on condition of anonymity, also said, “The Nigerian government has made attempts to get him (Igboho) but Benin Republic didn’t release him. The Nigerian government has asked him but the Beninise government has not released him because the latter has not even identified him as a Nigerian. The only instrument they can use to identify him as a Nigerian is the passport but that is not what was found with him.
“The Nigerian government is still quiet two days after the arrest because it does not have control over the situation. There is a procedure that the law establishes including a repatriation hearing to determine whether the person in question has committed the offence and why he or she should be repatriated or not.”