No briefing on Igboho’s arrest yet —Justice Ministry
More than 48 hours after the arrest and detention of Yoruba Nation agitator, Chief Sunday Adeyemo, also known as Igboho, the Federal Ministry of Justice has said it is yet to get an official briefing on the development.
The ministry’s position came yesterday as Igboho’s lawyer, Yomi Aliyu, gave a vivid account of how his client was arrested.
Meanwhile, some Yoruba residing in Cotonou, Republic of Benin, yesterday, thronged the nation’s court where it is believed the extradition hearing of Igboho will be held.
Similarly, dozens of protesters gathered at the home of Igboho in Ibadan, carrying placards with various messages such as ‘‘Igboho is not a criminal,’’ ‘’I stand with Igboho,’’ and so on.
Igboho and his wife, Ropo, were arrested at Cadjèhoun Airport in Cotonou, Benin Republic, on their way to Germany, on Monday night, by security operatives in the neighbouring country and detained.
He had been declared wanted after his Ibadan home was raided on July 1 by operatives of the Department of State Service, DSS.
Two people were killed by the DSS in the late-night raid, while 12 others were arrested and later paraded in Abuja. They have since been charged to court.top official of the Ministry, whose legal advice will be crucial in deciding the fate of Igboho and his supporters, told Vanguard, last night, that there had been no official briefing on the matter.
“We have not been officially briefed on the arrest and detention of Igboho as we speak,’’ the official said.
There have been claims and counter-claims over the arrest, detention and release of Igboho.
Shortly after the confirmation of his detention in Cotonou, those speaking for him said he had been freed and was on his way to Germany through the intervention of foreign powers.
However, some aides of the activist denied his release and lashed out at former army chief, Lt. Gen. Tukur Buratai, retd, who they accused of writing the Beninois government not to release Igboho.
Buratai is Nigeria’s current ambassador to Benin Republic.How Igboho was arrested in Cotonou —Lawyer
Mr. Yomi Aliyu, SAN, lawyer to the freedom fighter, yesterday, narrated how Igboho was arrested in Cotonou, Benin Republic.
Mr. Aliyu, who spoke during a radio talk programme on Rave FM, tagged ‘’Frank Talk’’, said one of Igboho’s brothers traveling with him before he was arrested was the one bundled into the plane heading to Germany, not Sunday.
Describing how the activist was arrested, the lawyer said Sunday was already in the plane with his wife and brother when someone pointed him out that he was wanted and was, thereafter, forced out of the plane along with his wife and brother by security operatives.
The legal practitioner said: “As at today, (Wednesday) Sunday Igboho is still in police detention in Benin Republic, specifically in Cotonou. While they were fighting with the brother, he was bundled back into the plane heading for Germany, he is the one in Germany now, not Igboho.
“He was already in the plane in Cotonu on his way to Germany with his wife and his brother was there too. Somebody pointed him out that he is a wanted person.
“He was brought down with the wife and brother and a fracas ensued because he was to be flown to Nigeria on a helicopter standing by. But the wife and the brother put up a fight and started shouting at the airport which attracted some other Yoruba indigenes and they came to their rescue.”
He added that his line of communication with Igboho was indirect, adding that he deliberately decided not to travel to Cotonouto avoid being embarrassed.
He said: “My communication with him is indirect. We don’t want to create a situation where we now go to Cotonu and I will be embarrassed for some other reasons.
“We know who is heading the police, who the ambassador in Cotonou is. I can’t go to that area now, but I speak with him indirectly anytime I want to speak with him.
I have been speaking with him through somebody that should know.
“I don’t belong to any group, either Afenifere or Oodua Nation. I am directly appointed by Sunday, not for any group, not for Oodua group, not for Afenifere or anybody.
“In fact, my own philosophy is different from their philosophy. But professionally, I am for Sunday and the rule of law, nothing political.”