Detained Yoruba activist, Sunday Igboho, may be set free on bail today by the government of the Benin Republic, if reports reaching 1st News are anything to go by.
1st News reports that the popular activist is set to be arraigned for Immigration-related offences in Cotonou today.
Sources confirmed that Sunday Igboho was arrested with a fake passport at the Cadjèhoun Airport, Cotonou. The activist had been attempting to catch a flight to Germany before his arrest.
Consequently, authorities in that country are set to arraign him in court over that offence today; with sources familiar with the matter disclosing that he may be set free on bail and allowed to proceed to his planned destination. The activist was due to be arraigned yesterday, Wednesday, July 21. But the session which failed to hold is now expected to take place later today.
Equally important, the Beninoise government is said to be unwilling to consider the frantic extradition request made by the Nigerian government on Sunday Igboho, until it arraigns the activist over the offence he was arrested for.
1st News had reported that a former Chief of Army Staff and Nigerian Ambassador to Benin Republic, Lt. Gen. Tukur Buratai (retd.) had been in the forefront of the overtures by the Nigerian government to extradite Sunday Igboho to Nigeria. Buratai had allegedly written the Benin Republic in his official capacity as a representative of the Nigerian government; with sources privy to the matter disclosed that the FG had described Sunday Igboho as a terrorist.
Meanwhile, lawyers to the detained activist had engaged a senior lawyer in Cotonou to press for his release; while also blocking his planed extradition to Nigeria.
If Sunday Igboho is eventually released, as is being envisaged, the development will potentially strain relations between Nigeria and Benin Republic. However, Nigerian government sources are also confident that he would be extradited to Nigeria.
1st News reports that Sunday Igboho was recently declared wanted by the Department of State Services (DSS).
The development came after operatives of the DSS raided his residence in Soka, Ibadan. The raid led to the death of two aides of the activist in a fire-fight. Also, the DSS paraded a cache of arms and ammunition allegedly recovered from the residence.
Thereafter, it had accused Sunday Igboho of treason and declared him wanted. The development came on the eve of a planned Yoruba Nation rally in Lagos which Igboho eventually missed.
1st News reports that the activist has become one of the most vocal champions for the independence of the Yoruba nation. Also, he had been behind a series of quit notices issued to Fulani herdsmen to vacate the South West.
Sunday Igboho had accused the herdsmen of allegedly being behind violent crimes; such as rape, murder and arson perpetrated against residents.