A lawyer embattled Yoruba Nation agitator, Sunday Adeyemo aka Sunday Igboho, Olusegun Falola, has revealed that his client will remain in prison in Benin Republic for the time being.
Explaining his position, the lawyer said the authorities in Benin want to keep Igboho in prison for his personal safety.
According to him, Igboho’s case is generating heated arguments both locally and internationally, and if released at the moment, might expose him to more danger so the authorities in Benin have concluded to keep him in custody for his own safety.
Anaedoonline.ng gathered Falola, a PhD holder, who teaches law in one of the Beninoise universities and is a member of the nine-man defence team for Igboho at the Benin Republic court narrated the position to The Nation yesterday in Cotonou, Benin Republic’s capital.
He explained further that his client has committed no crime and Igboho is covered by ECOWAS protocols to which Nigeria and Benin Republic are signatories.
Falola said: “Though the laws of Benin Republic do not allow a person to be detained in police custody beyond one week, authorities in the Benin Republic believe that setting Igboho free at the time the matter was still generating a lot of heat in local and international circles might also expose him to danger.”
“Igboho has not committed any offence here. He did not even stay here up to one day before he was arrested. He was arrested at the airport on his way out.
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“Space and time were not enough to link him with any criminal issue here. This has made it difficult to say his mission here is to cause trouble or commit a crime. He was arrested because of political issues emanating from Nigeria.
“His continued incarceration here is to allow things to calm down and for peace to reign between Nigeria and Benin Republic. We have no criminal allegation against him in the Benin Republic,” he noted.
The legal counsel noted that Igboho has been moved to a better facility and allowed access to medical treatment.
The lawyer added: “Anyone that insists that we should set Igboho free now only wants him killed. He can be killed, which may cause more problems.
“I have not seen him since Monday, but his wife is allowed to see him. I am processing for permission to see him. But I see his wife from time to time. We spoke about two hours ago. She said he is very safe where he is now. He was given medical attention immediately after he got to the prison.
“The new place is far better than the police cell because he will no longer be in handcuffs. He enjoys full protection and comfort where he is being kept. There is an instruction that he should not be made to feel like a prisoner or criminal. He is not a convict yet.
“About the next court appearance, we have not gone back to the court because that is not how we do it here. It takes some two weeks or months before we can do anything on the matter.
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“As a matter of fact, it is the judges that can do something about the next court appearance.”
Falola expressed confidence that Igboho can’t be extradited from Benin Republic to Nigeria due to the various treaties, declarations, and agreements by the United Nations and ECOWAS, which the two countries are signatory to.
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