Revealed: Where Benin stands on Igboho extradition

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Legal battle and horse trading have commenced in the wake of the arrest and planned extradition of Yoruba secessionist Sunday Adeyemo nabbed with a Beninese passport on his moonlight flit from Benin Republic en route to Germany.

Interpol, signaled after Igboho was declared wanted, loomed large in the interdiction.

While Adeyemo aka Igboho lawyers are waving a section or two of the 1984 agreement between Nigeria ad Benin on extradition, Nigeria is using a number of options.

And Benin appears to be cooperating.

Nigeria is asking the former French colony to respect the Interpol protocol—which both countries subscribe to, along with 192 others.

Fugitives on Interpol watchlist are supposed to be handed down to requesting countries.

Again, there are reports indicating Benin is willing to be a good neighbor because, according to the Nation, there is a warm diplomatic relationship between the two countries.

Then there is also the bargaining chip of free trade along the border.

Nigeria shuttered the border between the two countries because of bootlegging of products whose importation Nigeria has barred. Re-importing foreign products into Nigeria is Benin’s economic mainstay.

“When it comes to the economy of a country, no one will joke with it. You can appreciate the diplomatic web on Igboho. Benin Republic is trying to manage the situation,” the newspaper quoted a source as saying.

Igboho’s wife, Ropo, a German, detained with him, is covering for her husband. His legal team is trying to explore the citizenship angle to bring Germany in to it.

Germany has called for a transparent legal process in Benin.

The National Daily has earlier reported an extradition order is not the only means to repatriate a fugitive. There is the principle of reciprocity; there is mutual legal assistance; and there’s good neighbourliness.