The leader of the agitation for the Yoruba Nation in southwest Nigeria, Sunday Adeyemo, a.k.a. Sunday Igboho, on Tuesday in Benin Republic cried out, alleging that the Nigerian government wants to kill him for resisting killer Fulani herdsmen in Yoruba land. He said that this led to his flee from Nigeria to Benin Republic where he was arrested and currently on trial.
Igboho refuted the accusations of the Nigerian government, saying that he is not involved in arms trafficking or inciting violence in the country.
The lead counsel to Igboho, Ibrahim Salami, after the court proceedings in Benin Republic on Tuesday, had disclosed that Igboho had informed the presiding judge that the Nigerian government placed him on watchlist for resisting killer herdsmen. Igboho had maintained that the Nigerian government commenced manhunt for him because he volunteered to defend the Yoruba nation against killer Fulani herdsmen, who he said were kidnapping, raping women and girls, destroying farmlands, looting, and killing the people.
According to Salami: “Igboho said he never had any criminal record in Nigeria. He told the judge that the Nigerian government was after him because he was defending the Yoruba race against killer Fulani herdsmen.
“He said that he ran away from Nigeria because the government was after his life.”
The Beninois court is handling the trial of Igboho on fresh charges relating to illegal migration, dubious connivance with immigration officers, and an attempt to cause civil unrest.
Meanwhile, there are indications that the Beninois court may be misled into breach of the ECOWAS protocol on movement of persons within member states which permits ECOWAS citizens to migrate to any member state for a period of 90 states without formal documents. The illegal migration charge may not be sustainable in the trial of Igboho in the Republic of Benin.
The court, however, granted Igboho access to medical treatment, and ordered the security operatives to transfer Igboho to another detention facility.
Igboho was arrested in Cotonou, Benin Republic on July 19 with his wife. The court had last Thursday, freed Igboho’s wife.