Home Uncategorized IGBOHO: HOW BENIN REPUBLIC DEMANDED EX-EXTRADITION MINISTER’S IN 2019

IGBOHO: HOW BENIN REPUBLIC DEMANDED EX-EXTRADITION MINISTER’S IN 2019

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IGBOHO: HOW BENIN REPUBLIC DEMANDED EX-EXTRADITION MINISTER'S IN 2019

By Oladeji Showunmi

As the diplomatic fireworks over the extradition of Yoruba Nation arrowhead Sunday Adeyemo aka Sunday Igboho continue in Cotonou, Benin Republic, facts have emerged that politically-motivated extradition is not new to Benin Republic, Nigeria’s neighbor in the West African sub-region.
According to the United States Department of State’s 2020 Country Reports on Human Rights Practices, the government of Benin Republic attempted to use international law enforcement tools for politically motivated purposes against specific individuals located outside the country in 2019.

“In April 2019, a Spanish court rejected the government’s request for the extradition of former finance minister Komi Koutche, who was arrested during a stopover in Madrid in 2018 based on an Interpol (International Police Criminal Organization) Red Notice,” according to the report.

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“The court cited a lack of evidence to substantiate the request, potential political motivation for the request, and CRIET’s inability to provide a fair trial due to its lack of independence from the government.

“On April 4, CRIET tried Komi Koutche in absentia, found him guilty of embezzling public funds and abusing his position as head of the National Fund for Microcredit, and sentenced him to 20 years in prison.” Koutche remained in self-imposed exile at the end of the year.”
It was reported that the International Criminal Police Organization arrested Igboho and his wife, Ropo, on Monday night at the Cadjèhoun Airport in Cotonou, Benin Republic, while they were attempting to board a flight to Germany.

The Nigerian Department of State Services declared Igboho wanted after his house was raided on July 1, 2021. During the bloody raid, the DSS arrested at least 12 of his associates and killed two others. The secret police accused Igboho of stockpiling weapons in order to destabilize Nigeria under the guise of Yoruba Nation agitation, but Igboho denied the charge. The activist, who went underground, was apprehended by Interpol on Monday night at the Cadjèhoun Airport.

According to reports, the Nigerian government, through its Ambassador to the Benin Republic, Lt. Gen. Tukur Buratai (ret. ), played a role in the arrest of Igboho and his wife. The former Chief of Army Staff has also advocated for Igboho’s extradition to Abuja, but Igboho’s lawyer, Yomi Aliyyu (SAN), stated that his client cannot be extradited because the 1984 Extradition Treaty between Nigeria, Benin, and two other countries excluded political refugees like Igboho.

Aliyyu, who also claimed that Igboho’s wife is a German citizen while her husband is a German resident, requested that the German Embassy in Benin Republic intervene in the case and prevent the extradition of his client and his wife.
The lawyer also bemoaned the harsh treatment of his client and his wife in a Benin Republic detention facility.

According to the US report, the Beninese Armed Forces, which are part of the Ministry of Defense, are in charge of external security and assist the Republican Police in maintaining internal security in the country of about 12 million people. According to the report, members of the security forces committed human rights violations such as “unlawful or arbitrary killings, harsh and life-threatening prison conditions,” among other things.

“Prison conditions were harsh and life-threatening as a result of overcrowding, insufficient medical care, food, and sanitary conditions.” The 11 facilities housed approximately 9,000 inmates, far exceeding the capacity of 5,620 inmates…“There were deaths due to a lack of medical care, neglect, and poor ventilation in cramped and overcrowded cells,” according to the report.

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