Arrested Yoruba activist, Chief Sunday Igboho has been released.
A reliable source told Irohinoodua that Igboho is on his way to Germany where he is expected to meet his family members.
Sources said his release was partly due to Western countries involving Britain, Canada, France, Germany and the United States mounting intense pressure on the Government of Benin Republic not to hand over Chief Sunday Adeyemo, (Igboho) to the Nigerian authorities.
Sources in Cotonue hinted Irohinoodua that the Ambassadors of some Western nations reached out to the authorities of the Benin Republic asking him not to hand over Chief Adeyemo to the Nigerian government.
They hinge their arguments on strong suspicion that Igboho will not get justice if returned to his home country.
“We do not think returning Igboho to Nigeria will set standards for the Benin Republic in line with global human rights best practices, a diplomat told our correspondent in the Benin Republic
Meanwhile, a lawyer, Mr Leesi Ebenezer Olarewaju, based in the United States who is one of those representing Chief Adeyemo, had said there are strong indications the Benin Republic will not transfer Igboho to Nigeria.
Olanrewaju had also said the authorities of the International Police and the Government of the Republic of Benin were not willing to return Igboho to Nigeria.
He said under international laws, Igboho is not seen to have committed any crime but merely fighting for self-determination which is recognised under international law.
He said Benin arrested Igboho based on ‘alarm’ raised by Nigeria.
He said the British and German governments already have shown interest in the case.
He said “We are on top of the situation right now. We have successfully notified the British government of the dangers of letting Sunday Adeyemo returned to Nigeria where his life is at risk. We believe that before the end of today, BRITAIN would have granted his request for asylum in good faith.”
In 1995, a similar incidence involving Prof Adesegun Banjo and his wife Ngozi played out when they were arrested by Beninoise authorities on charges of insurgency.
“The government of late Gen Sani Abacha exerted so much pressure on the Benin Republic including the offer of 1million dollars.”
However, western nations put pressure on the Government of Benin which later released Adebanjo and his wife. The two later escaped to Ghana and later to Zimbabwe.
*Text, except headline, courtesy Irohinoodua