Benin files fresh charges against Igboho, remains in custody

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Authorities in Benin Republic are not eager to extradite Chief Sunday Adeyemo to Nigeria as the Cour De’Appel De Cotonou ruled that he be returned to custody pending further investigations on how he entered the country without necessary documents.

Ibrahim Salami, a lawyer in Cotonou, disclosed the new charges after Monday’s hearing, where Igboho was ordered to remain in police custody in Benin Republic.

Before the hearing, Salami had said that the legal team was expecting extradition charges from the Nigerian government against the activist.

However, he said Sunday Igboho was confronted with fresh charges when he appeared on Monday.

The law professor said Igboho was further remanded to allow police to conduct a thorough investigation into the charges, which included illegal migration, dubious connivance with immigration officers and an attempt to cause civil unrest.

Salami had expected that Igboho would be freed on Monday because the Federal Government had yet to file formal extradition charges against Igboho.

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He explained that the previous allegations that warranted placing Igboho on a watchlist had successful being tackled during the hearing.

Some of the allegations, which he said could not be proved, are trafficking in arms, inciting violence that could result in social disturbance and causing disunity in Nigeria.

“First, the judge ruled that Sunday Igboho entered into the Benin Republic through an illegal means. They also want to investigate how Sunday Igboho conspired with others to enter Benin Republic through wrong means.

“They also want to know how long he has been in Benin republic and his plans in the country. They also raised a charge on whether he wants to come and cause unrest or social disturbance in Benin Republic,” the lawyer said in an interview with BBC Yoruba.

Igboho and his wife were arrested on Monday, July 19, 2021, by the International Criminal Police Organisation at the Cadjèhoun Airport in Cotonou, Republic of Benin on their way to Germany

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When they were arraigned last Thursday, the Beninese court adjourned the case till Monday (yesterday) after Igboho’s five lawyers failed to convince the prosecutor that he had no case to answer.

The Beninese authorities released Ropo while the 48-year-old activist was returned to police custody.