Sunday, November 28, 2021

Proposed Sunday Igboho extradition contradicts Buhari’s promise to negotiate: Afenifere

Afenifere said, by still pursuing Mr Igboho’s extradition, Buhari was insincere in looking for a political solution to secessionist agitations.

• November 25, 2021
President Muhammadu Buhari and Sunday Igboho
President Muhammadu Buhari and Sunday Igboho

Extraditing Yoruba Nation agitator, Sunday “Igboho” Adeyemo, back to Nigeria negates the President Muhammadu Buhari regime’s disposition to a political solution in cases of secessionist groups, pan-Yoruba socio-cultural group, Afenifere has said.

“Were the government to be sincere with its recent declaration of wanting to settle the agitators’ issues politically, it would not be pursuing the path of extradition that it is bent on doing presently,” Afenifre said in a statement by its spokesperson, Jare Ajayi on Wednesday.

The group recalled that Mr Buhari had hinted at using an extrajudicial process in resolving issues with Mr Igboho and Nnamdi Kanu, the leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) who currently faces charges for bordering on treasonable felony and terrorism.

Also, the attorney-general of the federation (AGF), Abubakar Malami, during an interview on Arise TV, said the federal government was open to political solutions in addressing cases of the separatist movement leaders.

Mr Igboho was arrested at Cadjèhoun Airport in Cotonou on his way to Germany with his wife in July after the operatives of the State Security Service (SSS) raided his home in Soka, Ibadan.

The SSS had also accused him of planning a “violent insurrection against Nigeria”.

The Yoruba Nation agitator’s counsel had filed a N20.5 billion lawsuit against the secret police in Ibadan. The court had also ordered the SSS to pay the sum as damages.

But the SSS, in a 16 paragraph affidavit presented before the court on Monday said Mr Igboho was currently under extradition procedure back to Nigeria.

“That it is a fact that the applicant was arrested on July 19, 2021, and he is currently in the custody of the Beninese security agents, undergoing extradition procedure to come back to Nigeria,” one of its operatives, Johnson Oluwole, said.

Afenifere, however, argued that if the Buhari regime was indeed open to a political solution, it would obey court orders rather than pursue Mr Igboho’s extradition procedures.

“If the Federal Government genuinely wanted to solve the problems thrown up by self-determination agitations, it should obey the judgments already given in favour of the agitators and convene meetings with leaders of the ethnic nationalities particularly those from the South East and South West where Kanu and Igboho came from,” Afenifere noted.

According to Afenifere, “Solicitors for the agitators and interested stakeholders should also be present at the meetings,” adding that such meetings should be convened without delay.

Meanwhile, Mr Igboho’s lawyer, Ibrahim Salami, in October, said the activist was safer in Benin Republic and will be murdered if extradited to Nigeria.

“He is safer in Benin. He is not at all safe in Nigeria. Sending him to Nigeria means certain death,” Mr Salami told international news media AFP.

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