We prefer Igboho dies in Benin prison than be extradited — Lawyer
The legal team and supporters of Yoruba nation agitator, Sunday Adeyemo a.k.a. Igboho, will prefer that he dies in Benin Republic than allow him to be handed over to the Nigerian government, his lawyer, Ibrahim David Salami, declared on Saturday.
Salami vowed that everything would be done to ensure that Igboho is not extradited to Nigeria.
Also yesterday, Governor Babajide Sanwo-olu of Lagos State said that Southwest governors and some other people were working behind the scenes on Igboho’s case.
Salami, a Beninese Yoruba and law lecturer, told BBC Yoruba in an interview monitored by The Nation that “it is important that Igboho is not extradited to Nigeria under any circumstances.”
“It is better for him to die here in Benin than extradited to Nigeria,” he said.
“With all that happened in his house and how the army is threatening him, allowing for his extradition will amount to sending him home to death.
“Rather than do that, it would be better to keep him in Benin and kill him than to let him go to Nigeria to be slaughtered like an animal.
“That has been our struggle and agitation here in Benin.”
He said the activist would know his fate tomorrow when the court is expected to rule on whether he, indeed, committed an offence in Nigeria warranting his extradition.
The federal government, he said, has written a letter to the Beninese government listing three offences against Adeyemo, namely illegal arms trafficking/stockpiling, public incitement and secession.
Salami denied that a Beninese passport was found in Igboho’s possession. But he confirmed that Igboho had a Nigerian passport bearing his name and a German residence permit which makes obtaining that country’s visa unnecessary.
Asked how Adeyemo was arrested, he said: “He was arrested at the point of documentation at the airport after his (Igboho’s) luggage had been checked in.
“The Nigerian government had notified Benin to help them arrest him in the event that they found him.
“The security people found that the name in his passport tallied with the name in their black book, and they asked him to step aside.”
Salami said the legal team of five in Benin has been receiving immense moral support from the Yoruba across the world since the case commenced but pleaded that those thronging the court at each hearing should keep off and allow the lawyers do their job.
He said unruly behavior on their part would not be in the best interest of Igboho as it will lend credence to the allegation of incitement leveled against him.
He said although Igboho remains handcuffed in detention, reports that he was beaten or tortured are false.