There are strong indications that a new twist of events may unfold regarding Yoruba Nation agitator, Sunday Adeyemo, popularly known as Sunday Igboho’s trial in Benin republic, after a former Nigeria President, Olusegun Obasanjo paid the President of Benin a visit over Igboho’s ordeal.
It will be recalled that Igboho, who is facing trial for alleged immigration-related charges in Cotonou, was arrested mid-July in the neighbouring West African country, few weeks after he was declared wanted by the Nigerian government through the Department of State Services (DSS), over alleged stockpiling of arms and ammunition.
It was gathered that the charges filed against Igboho by Benin republic, were punishable by deportation, fines, or imprisonment.
As a result, although an High Court in Oyo state, had restrained the DSS from arresting or harrasing the Yoruba activist, it was gathered that Igboho’s lawyers are making frantic efforts to ensure that the Yoruba activist is not deported to Nigeria.
Igboho was said to have sought asylum in the Republic of Benin in July, after his arrest in order to prevent him from being extradited to Nigeria.
Asylum is the protection or safety given by a government to people who have been forced to leave their country for their safety or because of war. The asylee is also protected from being returned to his or her home country.
Similarly, aside the fact that information gathered revealed that the Yoruba-speaking monarchs in Benin Republic have mounted pressure on the president, Patrice Talon, and other top government officials to grant asylum to Igboho, again last week, Obasanjo was said to have met with Patrice Talon in Benin in order to seek soft-landing for Igboho.
Obasanjo who seized the opportunity of his visit to condole with former President Soglo who recently lost his wife, allegedly asked the Beninese authorities to grant the separatist leader asylum, and not to return him to Nigeria.
To this end, it can be presumed that with the intervention of an internationally recognized leader like Obasanjo, it is likely that the asylum sought by Igboho may be granted by Benin authorities.
Worthy of note is that, according to Salami, one of Igboho’s lawyer, it was revealed that charges against Igboho would be neutralised if the asylum is granted.