According to Punch, the 48-year-old activist chose this option after being detained by the International Criminal Police Organization at the Cadjèhoun Airport in Cotonou, Republic of Benin, on Monday, July 19, 2021.
Igboho and his German-based wife, Ropo, were arrested at the airport on Monday around 8 p.m. as they attempted to board a flight to Germany.
Despite the fact that the Cour De’appal De Cotonou ordered on Thursday that Ropo should be released unconditionally because she faces no charges, Igboho is spending his first weekend in a Cotonou police cell.
He is being charged for immigration violations after reportedly being captured with a forged Beninese passport at the time of his departure from Germany on an Air France flight.
“He (Igboho) was already at the airport with a passport. The immigration officers suspected his passport to be fake and so they stopped him. A passport was allegedly forged for Igboho in the Benin Republic for the purpose of the Germany trip. At the airport, they discovered he was the one,” a source familiar with the matter said.
The source, who craved anonymity, however, said although an application had been filed for Igboho as a political refugee in Germany, processes had also been completed to file another application for asylum for him in Benin Republic.
“Igboho has already applied for asylum in Germany and he hopes to file a similar application in Benin Republic in the coming days,” the source said.
According to the source, the Beninese government may decide to withdraw the migration-related charges brought against Igboho for allegedly forging a passport.
Yomi Alliyu (SAN), the head of Igboho’s legal team, said in a statement that his client could not be extradited since the 1984 Extradition Treaty between Nigeria, Benin, and two other nations did not include political refugees like Igboho.
Meanwhile, Igboho and his wife were remanded in police custody in Cotonou following their arrest, but the Cour De’appal De Cotonou determined on Thursday that Ropo should be freed unconditionally because she was not charged.
The court session lasted approximately six hours, with breaks in between.
The court, on the other hand, ordered that Igboho be held in police custody until the next adjournment date, which is expected to be next week.
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