Nobel laureate, Prof Wole Soyinka, has appealed to both federal government of Nigeria and government of the Republic of Benin to release Sunday Adeyemo, popularly known as Sunday Igboho, currently in prison custody in the West African country.
Soyinka said this in Lagos while addressing journalists on Friday in an interactive session titled, “Sanctions on the loose: Chasing the gnat with a sledgehammer,”
the elder statesman said the secessionist committed no known crime against Nigeria.
Soyinka stated, “He is against Fulani herdsmen tyranny and threw out criminal herdsmen terrorising his neighbourhood. That’s his real crime. I refuse to accept that Igboho is being chased because he peacefully demonstrated his position vis-a-vis the destiny of this nation which is a fundamental human right of anybody. Somebody called for secession or a separate state, I don’t consider that (a criminal act) and nowhere is that declared a criminal act as long as it’s done peacefully and collectively within the law. You don’t criminalise the action and in addition commit a criminal act against such an individual. That was what the security services did by raiding Igboho’s home at 2am, killing two of his people and claiming, without a warrant or anything, that they found weapons in his house. Who is going to believe that cock and bull story?
“This is an appeal to the government of the Republic of Benin. Why are you keeping the victim in your prison? What crime did he commit against your state that you are holding him in prison, instead of letting him continue his journey? Igboho has not committed any crime against any known law in this nation. Thus, to ask for his repatriation is adding insult to injury. You invaded his house, destroyed his property, chased him into the wilderness and you are pursuing him. We ask the government of the Republic of Benin to release the man to continue his business which was interrupted unjustly. Please, rectify this error and don’t compound t any further by holding Sunday Igboho in prison one day long.’’
The Yoruba Nation activist, Sunday Igboho fled Nigeria on July 1st 2021, after men of the Department of State Services raided his Ibadan, Oyo State home, killed two and arrested 12 of his aides.
Igboho got arrested alongside his wife on July 19, 2021, by the International Criminal Police Organisation at the Cadjehoun Airport in Cotonou on their way to Germany.
After series of court hearing initiated by the Nigeria Government for extradition to face allegations of stockpiling arms which he had denied. His wife Ropo was released.
Meanwhile, the Noble Laureate further appeals to the United Nations to intervene on the case.