The Court D’Appal of Cotonou has rejected the extradition to Nigeria of Yoruba Nation agitator, Sunday Adeyemo, popularly known as Sunday Igboho.
The court ruled that the agitator be kept in prison custody pending further investigation.
The Court D’Appal, which was expected to start hearing the case at 10:00am, barred reporters and supporters of Igboho who besieged the premises. The hearing commenced at about 5:00pm.
Supporters of Igboho were dispersed from the premises of the court later in the evening, prompting fears that he might be deported to Nigeria.
The court proceeding took a long time because the system of law in the Benin Republic is different from the system of law in Nigeria.
Nigeria practises an adversarial system of justice but the Benin Republic has an inquisitorial system, a justice system in which the judge delves into the matter to enquire like the investigator, asking questions and probing the suspects.
It was revealed that the Federal Government of Nigeria was represented by six lawyers in court on Monday.
The legal representatives were a combination of local and international lawyers as well as French-speaking and English-speaking lawyers.
The government of Nigeria had accused Sunday Igboho of trafficking in arms, inciting violence to disrupt public peace, and agitating for secession. It also sought his extradition to Nigeria.
Igboho and his wife, Ropo, were arrested at the Cardinal Bernardin International Airport, Cotonou, last Monday while trying to catch a flight to Germany.
However, Ropo, who is a German citizen was set free by the court on Thursday while the self-styled agitator was remanded in the custody of Brigade Criminelle in Cotonou.