After lathering up legal bubbles over the arrest and extradition in Benin Republic of Yoruba separatist declared wanted for stockpiling weapons in Nigeria, Beninese defence lawyers is now facing realities.
Sunday Adeyemo Igboho has spent about a week in Beninese detention, handcuffed, and he has a multi-stage trial to go through for allegations of faking the neighboring country passport for his escape to Germany. An extradition request is in the offing too—from Nigeria.
Benin is a member of ECOWAS, a bloc Nigeria belongs, and all members have such ECOWAS Convention on Extradition of 1994 binding on them.
But Ibrahim Salami, Igboho’s Beninese lawyer and law professor, said there’s no accord between Nigeria and Benin that allows Benin to extradite Igboho to Nigeria.
“He can only be extradited on political grounds,” he said in the run-up to his July 26 trial continuation in Cotonou.
“In that regard, the law won’t apply.”
Salami, however, despairs about the consequences of Igboho’s return to Nigeria—under any circumstance..
“It is better for him to die here in Benin than be extradited to Nigeria.”