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Benin Republic yet to arraign agitator Igboho | The Nation

Benin Republic yet to arraign agitator Igboho | The Nation

By Bisi Oladele, Ibadan and Toba Adedeji, Osogbo 

Yoruba Nation agitator Sunday Adeyemo (Igboho) has not been arraigned in court in Benin Republic, contrary to expectations.

According to a BBC Yoruba report, his supporters who stormed a court in Cotonou left disappointment when he was not brought to the court.

Igboho, who is being detained by Police Criminal Brigade Command, Berlier, was expected to be arraigned before a judge in Paequet.

On Wednesday in Ibadan, the supporters of the agitator, who was arrested on Monday night as he was about to travel to Europe from the neighbouring country, staged a protest at his Ibadan residence.

But, policemen dispersed the protest.

The protesters were said to have marched to Soka Bus Stop on Lagos-Ibadan Expressway, demanding Igboho’s release.

Residents said the protesters, who carried placards bearing various inscriptions, called on the international community to fight for Igboho’s release.

The protest, which stalled traffic in the area, started about 1.50pm, making motorists to take alternative routes, residents said.

According to a source, the policemen came in about four patrol vans and a car. They chased away the protesters.

Police spokesman Adewale Osifeso could not confirm the protest as he was unavailable for confirmation at press time.

Igboho’s lawyer Yomi Aliu (SAN) shed more light into how he was arrested by Beninnise security officials.

Speaking on Rave FM, a radio station in Osogbo, the Osun State capital, Aliu said Igboho, his wife and brother were travelling.

He said they were already inside the aircraft before someone called attention to the fact that Igboho was wanted in Nigeria.

He said: “Somebody pointed out that Igboho had been on the wanted list and he was inside the plane. He was arrested immediately and there was a standby helicopter to take him to Nigeria. Sunday, his wife and his brother put up a fight at the airport, which attracted some Yoruba indigenes in the place, and they came to their rescue. He was beaten with a hard object in his hand that left him in pain.

Despite the injury, they still kept him handcuffs, saying that they have an order from above.

Aliu debunked the report that Igboho was lured into arrest.

The lawyer said he did not “belong to any group, neither Afenifere nor Odua Nation group. I am directly appointed My philosophy is different from their philosophy. But I am for Sunday so that his right will not be breached.”

On how he has been communicating with Igboho since his arrest, the lawyer said: “Communication with Igboho is indirect. I don’t want to go to Cotonou and put up a situation whereby I will be embarrassed. But I speak with him indirectly anytime I want to speak with him and I’ve been speaking with him through somebody who should know. I am a core professional directly engaged by Sunday Igboho and I’ve been his lawyer for the past 20years.”

Aliu added: “They chained him in the cell where they put him in Cotonou. There was a fracas at the airport yesterday when he was arrested. They hit him in the hand and that same hand was handcuffed, he is in pain and he was weeping like a child when I called, I heard him.”

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