Embattled Yoruba Nation agitator, Sunday Igboho, may be deported to Nigeria. This is according to sources in Benin Republic, where he’s currently facing trial.
One of the sources, who works with Benin’s INTERPOL National Central Bureau (NCB), revealed that charges against Igboho were punishable by deportation, fines, or imprisonment.
“Our intelligence gathering showed that it is unhealthy to jail Igboho here (Benin Republic).”
“Yes, he was detained for fresh charges. While he was initially in the Brigade Criminelle facility, he made useful confessions. His lawyers also know that he is guilty of irregular migration,” the source was quoted as saying.
Another official who also spoke on the matter on a condition of anonymity added that “the least punishment Igboho can be given is to be deported to the country he came from (Nigeria) if found guilty. The Nigerian authorities can take over from there if they wish.”
Reacting to the intended deportation of the activist, Pelumi Olajengbesi, a Nigerian-based counsel for Igboho, assured that the plan would fail.
His words: “I am aware that the Federal Government through the former Chief of Army Staff Tukur Buratai is making effort to get him deported. We can say that clearly.
“So far, the facts available before the court have nothing to do with the Nigerian government.
“We have nothing to worry about because the Benin Republic government has shown that it will operate within the precinct of the law. For us, we believe that Igboho is a criminal of conscience who has taken an effort to liberate his people.”
Warning that deporting Igboho is against international law, Olasupo Ojo, the Coordinating counsel for Igboho, stated: “It is illegal under international law to send back somebody who escaped to save his life. You cannot send him to a country where there is ample evidence that his life is at stake, endangered. It will bounce back heavily on Benin Republic if they do that.”