The Republic of Benin has rejected demands by President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration to extradite Sunday Adeyemo, also known as Sunday Igboho, as soon as possible.
The Federal Government had planned to extradite the activist to the Department of State Security (DSS) headquarters in Abuja on Wednesday (yesterday), but the Benin Republic insisted on following due process.
“The Nigerian government planned to extradite him on Wednesday,” a source told The PUNCH, “but our government stated the rule of law must be followed because the world is watching us.”
Pelumi Olajengbesi, one of Igboho’s lawyers, praised the Benin Republic for upholding the rule of law and due process.
Despite pressure from President Muhammadu Buhari’s government, Benin officials persisted on following due process, which included a repatriation hearing to establish whether Igboho was guilty of the DSS claims.
He said, “The disposition of Benin Republic is that it is a country that respects the rule of law. We are making efforts that he is not repatriated wrongly to Nigeria.
“We are ensuring that everything is done in accordance with the law and we are very hopeful that we would succeed because we expect that there should be a repatriation hearing before they can extradite him if at all they would do that.”
A source familiar with the matter, who spoke on condition of anonymity, also said, “The Nigerian government has made attempts to get him (Igboho) but Benin Republic didn’t release him.
The Nigerian government has asked him but the Beninise government has not released him because the latter has not even identified him as a Nigerian.
The only instrument they can use to identify him as a Nigerian is the passport but that is not what was found with him.
“The Nigerian government is still quiet two days after the arrest because it does not have control over the situation.
There is a procedure that the law establishes including a repatriation hearing to determine whether the person in question has committed the offence and why he or she should be repatriated or not.”
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