Benin sets to decide on Sunday Igboho’s asylum plea

August 2, 2021
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Authorities in Benin Republic are likely to make their decision public this week on the asylum application by embattled Sunday Adeyemi, popularly known as Sunday Igboho, known this week.

Sources told National Daily that the bail application for Igboho was delayed by his lawyers because of his medical report and the expected outcome of his asylum application among others.

The asylum application is part of his lawyers’ plans to get him out of detention and also prevented his extradition to Nigeria.

Igboho and his wife were arrested on Monday, July 19, 2021, by the International Criminal Police Organisation at the Cadjèhoun Airport in Cotonou, Republic of Benin on their way to Germany. The wife, Ropo was later released.

This was after DSS raided his house in Ibadan and declared him wanted for stockpiling arms.

READ ALSOIGBOHO 12: How defence lawyers frustrated clients’ bail

When he was re-arraigned last Monday, fresh charges were levelled against the 48-year-old activist, who was also returned to a new detention facility.

The Coordinating counsel for Igboho, Olasupo Ojo, said he was yet to get any official report on his asylum.

Asked if Igboho had been granted asylum, he said, “I have not got any official report in relation to that, but we’re expecting feedback this week,” he added.

Also, the spokesperson for Ilana Omo Oduduwa, Maxwell Adeleye, said the organisation is expecting a positive response.

“We have submitted an application and we are hoping to get a positive response before the end of the week,” he said.

READ ALSO: DSS operatives seize photojournalist’s phone over detained Igboho’s aides

Ibrahim Salami, one of the Cotonou, Benin Republic-based lawyers of Igboho, had explained that charges against Igboho would be neutralised if the activist is granted asylum.

Salami said this while explaining that Igboho was not arrested for possessing a Benin Republic passport despite not being a citizen.

The lawyer had said, “When he left Nigeria, he took the backdoor into Benin. It was at the airport that security operatives stopped him that he was on the watchlist. He didn’t go against any law in the Benin Republic. They didn’t find any Beninese passport on him. He had a Nigerian passport with a German residency card. He needed no visa at that point.

 “They only claimed that he is wanted in Nigeria for criminal offences. Our argument is that he was arrested because of Nigeria’s request, and there is no proof to show that he is a criminal. He spent barely 24 hours in the country and filed an asylum,” he added.

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