As Nigerians await the outcome of the ongoing investigation undertaken by the Republic of Benin authorities on Yoruba Nation agitator, Sunday Adeyemo popularly called Sunday Igboho, indications have emerged that the West African nation may hand him over to Nigeria for prosecution.
The Republic of Benin Government and its Nigerian counterpart may rely on the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) protocol signed over two decades ago to perfect his return to Nigeria.
Speaking on the plan, human rights lawyer, Femi Falana, stated that the bilateral treaties between both countries do not cover extradition but the ECOWAS protocol made provisions for it and that the Nigerian Government was already considering such.
Falana, while speaking on a popular television show yesterday, hinted that the Nigerian Ambassador to the country, Tukur Buratai, who was former Chief of Army Staff, had allegedly started asking that the Yoruba nation agitator be returned to the country.
“In the case of Sunday Igboho, again despite my disagreement with him, I came out to say you cannot just throw him into a waiting plane as we were told, it was attempted.
“You have to go to court. You have to make a request under international law, under the ECOWAS convention on extradition.
“The government of Nigeria is requested to submit an extradition request to the government of Benin Republic and so when the plenipotentiary, General Yusuf Buratai (retired), who at that time had not submitted his letters of credence asked that Igboho be handed over to him. He was told, ‘sorry, we operate the rule of law here’. That is why that matter is still in court,” Falana added.
Igboho is currently in detention in Benin Republic after he was arrested on July 19 in Cotonou while trying to escape to Germany.
The charges pressed against the agitator border on arms smuggling, inciting violence, and calling for a secession of the Yoruba race from Nigeria.