Legal Nigeria

Igboho’s arraignment not about fake Beninese passport: Lawyer

Sunday Igboho

By Oyindamola Olubajo

Sunday Igboho is not being tried for obtaining a fake Beninese international passport in Cotonou, said his lawyer Ibrahim Salami on Friday. 

Reports that Yoruba Nation agitator Sunday “Igboho” Adeyemo was arrested with a fake Beninese passport has been refuted by his lawyer in the Benin Republic, Ibrahim Salami.

Mr Salami confirmed that the activist was only found with Nigerian and German passports when he was accosted by the tiny West African nation’s police at the Cadjèhoun Airport, Cotonou, on Monday.

Mr Igboho was arrested alongside his wife, Ropo, while trying to catch a flight to Germany.

Some media reports had claimed that the separatist leader would be tried for obtaining a fake Beninese international passport in Cotonou.

Possessing a fake Beninese passport attracts a maximum sentence of 21 years imprisonment, if found guilty.

But speaking with BBC Yoruba, Mr Salami said, “It is not true that Benin Republic passport was found on Sunday Igboho when he was arrested.

“What was found on him were Nigerian and German passports. His wife had only her German passport on her at the point of arrest,” he added.

Mr lgboho’s wife was freed on Thursday and her German passport was returned to her, but the court ordered that the activist be remanded in the custody of Brigade Criminelle in Cotonou as the Buhari regime failed to file charges against him.

The Nigerian government again failed to levy charges against Mr Igboho when he appeared in court Friday morning but merely laid allegations of arms trafficking and incitement, according to a statement by Ilana Omo Oodua, signed by its spokesman Maxwell Adeleye.

The case against the activist was adjourned until July 26.

Mr Igboho’s arrest comes after he escaped a bloody attack on his Ibadan residence, where two persons were killed and 13 others were detained by the State Security Service (SSS).

Nigeria’s secret police, SSS, accused Mr Igboho of planning a “violent insurrection against Nigeria”, just as it declared him wanted.

A statement by the spokesperson for the SSS, Peter Afunanya, said that “seven AK-47s, three pump-action guns, 30 fully charged AK-47 magazines, 5,000 rounds of 7.62mm ammunition and five cutlasses” were seized from Mr Igboho’s home.

The SSS also seized a “jackknife, one pen knife, two pistol holsters, one binoculars, a wallet containing $5 in one-dollar denomination, local and international driver’s licences in Mr Igboho’s name.

Mr Afunanya also revealed that ATM cards, a German residence permit (YO2N6K1NY) bearing the separatist leader’s name, “two whistles, 50 cartridges, 18 walkie-talkies, three charm jackets/traditional body armour, two laptops and his travel passport” were also seized.

Meanwhile, the Abuja Division of the Federal High Court on Friday ordered the SSS to produce 13 relatives of the Yoruba Nation leader who were arrested during the controversial raid of his residence on July 1.

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