Sunday Igboho Reportedly Seeks Asylum In Benin Republic
According to Punch, the 48-year-old activist resorted to the option after he was arrested on Monday, July 19, 2021, by International Criminal Police Organisation at Cadjèhoun Airport in Cotonou, Republic of Benin.
Igboho was arrested with his Germany-based wife, Ropo, at the airport while they reportedly tried to catch a flight to Germany around 8 pm on Monday.
Although, Cour De’appal De Cotonou ruled on Thursday that Ropo should be released unconditionally as there were no charges against her, Igboho is spending his first weekend in a police cell in Cotonou.
He is being tried for migration-related issues after he was allegedly caught with a fake Beninese passport at the point of his departure to Germany through an Air France flight.
A source familiar with the matter told ThePunch;
He (Igboho) was already at the airport with a passport. The immigration officers suspected his passport to be fake and so they stopped him. A passport was allegedly forged for Igboho in the Benin Republic for the purpose of the Germany trip. At the airport, they discovered he was the one.
The source, who craved anonymity, however, said although an application had been filed for Igboho as a political refugee in Germany, processes had also been completed to file another application for asylum for him in Benin Republic.
Igboho has already applied for asylum in Germany and he hopes to file a similar application in Benin Republic in the coming days.
The source also said that there was the possibility that Beninese Government would drop the migration-related offences brought against Igboho over alleged forgery of passport.
Meanwhile, leader of Igboho’s legal team, Yomi Alliyu (SAN), also in a statement noted that his client could not be extradited because 1984 Extradition Treaty between Nigeria, Benin and two other countries excluded political refugees like Igboho.
Meanwhile, following court session for Igboho that lasted for about six hours with intermittent breaks, judge ruled that the Yoruba activist be remanded in police custody till next week Monday.