Igboho undergoing questioning in Criminal Brigade Cotonou, may be arraigned Thursday July 22

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From Left: Igboho and Cotonou court.

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By BASHIR ADEFAKA

Yoruba tribalist ‘warlord’ Sunday Adeyemo a.k.a. Sunday Igboho, who was arrested by authorities of the Republic of Benin as he tried to escape through the West African neighbouring country to Germany, is believed to still be undergoing questioning in Criminal Brigade, Cotonou that is the economic nerve centre of the country.

Immediately he is done with the questioning, he would appear before the Court of Appeal in the city.

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Information had circulated widely Wednesday that Yoruba speaking Benin citizens had thronged the court in the nation’s seat of government in ‘solidarity’ with the Nigerian tribalist fighter.

News of the Yoruba secessionist agitator’s arrest was broken late Monday 19 July 2021 by Republican Police in Cotonou, three weeks after he was declared wanted by Nigeria’s secret agency the State Security Services (SSS).

A local newspaper in the neighbouring country, Banouto, had reported Beninese authorities as saying Mr. Igboho was nabbed at Cardinal Bernardin International Airport in Cotonou, trying to board an international flight to Germany.

He was “disembarked from his plane, arrested by the Beninese police while he was trying to travel to Germany and then transferred to the Cotonou Criminal Brigade.”

It was learned that under the agreements between the two countries, Mr. Igboho’s extradition should be concluded without hindrance although, update on this has it that the Francophone country may not be willing yet to release but try him in its own territory due to nature offence he committed having been issued fake documents by some of its officials to enable him travel.

The DEFENDER gathered Thursday that Beninese officials, who issued fake documents enabling Igboho to travel thereby compromising security of both Nigeria and Benin Republic, have been arrested.

While the Nigerian Government is yet to speak on the development, reactions have started pouring in from different Yoruba groups.

Earlier this month, Mr Igboho’s house, located in Soka, Ibadan, capital of Oyo State was raided around 1:00 a.m. by SSS operatives in a joint operation with other sister agencies.

The Public Relations Officer (PRO) of the SSS, Dr. Peter Afunnaya, later confirmed the raid with several AK-47 rifles, pump action guns and 5,000 rounds of ammunition and other weapons recovered from his apartment during the operation.

He said security operatives recovered the weapons after a “hot gun duel between them and Igboho’s guards”. The SSS also said two of Igboho’s armed men, who opened fire on security operatives to prevent them from gaining entrance into the residence for the raid, were killed in the process while a security agent was shot on the right hand and hospitalised.

Sunday Igboho later said the weapons were not found in his and that security operatives planted ammunition in his house in order to implicate him, after which The DEFENDER reported intelligence sources asking him to rather come out to defend himself since he believed the dangerous weapons displayed to have been found on his home were not his.

On the ground of his denial, his lawyer, Mr. Aliyu, had written to the SSS, demanding an apology and N500 million in damages from the security operatives for ‘destroying Mr Igboho’s residence’, although a Facebook streaming live broadcast confirmed that Igboho actually led a violent group as the woman in the broadcast was heard calling for the ‘warriors to report at chief’s house’ to stop ‘the Nigerian shoja from escaping’.

It will be recalled that Igboho’s footsoldiers had invaded the social media platforms with photographs, with carefully plotted posts dated July 2013, said to have been done attempting to incite the public against the SSS and call it a liar.

What is proper for Sunday Igboho to do would be to come surrender to justice or he would be tracked, no matter how far he could go, instead for him to complicate his case by using hired elements and fake news merchants on social media to incite public sentiments against the agency, the source told The DEFENDER, after SSS had declared him wanted.

Although Sunday Igboho made all the denials about not owning any weapon but only agitate or campaign for restructuring, a past video that had gone viral on social media, however, proved him wrong as, according to the capturing at a meeting with one of South West traditional rulers, he was seen boasting that ‘no government’ can stop him from carrying firearms. He even said in the video that leaders of the region should contribute resources, particularly money, to enable the youths procure weapons and that, “If they don’t know how to buy the weapons, I will help them to buy them”.


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