Olusegun Falola, one of the lawyers for controversial Yoruba Nation agitator, Sunday Adeyemo, also known as Sunday Igboho, has said his client is staying away from the hostile environment that President Muhammadu Buhari has created in Nigeria.
He went on to say that Igboho’s stay in the detention of the Republic of Benin is a blessing in disguise.
The lawyer added that the human rights activist would not return to the country until after Buhari’s term expires.
Falola spoke during a radio interview monitored by The Nation.
Igboho has been in custody for more than a month since he was “arrested” in Cotonou on July 19 by officers from the Brigade Criminelle (Criminal Brigade).
The 48-year-old agitator, who was first detained by the Economic and Financial Brigade (BEF), is in the Prison Civile de Cotonou – Cotonou Civil Prison.
In the final verdict, the Cour De’appal De Cotonou ordered that Igboho be kept in custody.
During the 13-hour hearing, the court had ruled that Igboho should be sent to pre-trial detention pending the completion of the investigation.
Speaking about the efforts for Igboho’s freedom, the lawyer said: “Igboho’s arrest shows that he has been defrauded because he has not committed a criminal offense.
“I beg all Yorubas and Nigerians in general, don’t see Sunday Igboho as a convict, see him as someone who is under the protection of the Republic of Benin. Igboho will only stay underground for now until there is fresh air.
“Nigeria failed to show up in court and brought no evidence against Sunday Igboho. So there are no criminal charges against him. When Igboho leaves prison, he will request asylum from other countries, including France, and they will be ready to receive him.
“So he will return to Nigeria when the government that opposes him leaves office.”
About decisions Igboho will make after regaining freedom, Falola said: “If Nigeria is to be another safe haven for him (Igboho) to return, especially for his freedom and maximum security, all his cars in Ibadan and companies will be done in Cotonou..
“The judges asked Igboho if he had land in Cotonou and he replied that he had land in Seme. So there is still danger. Igboho’s asylum in Cotonou is for him to stay in the country and do his business in the country and also travel to Germany to live there or commute back and forth. He will use Benin as his new home until Buhari’s tenure is over, just for his own safety.
“We should be grateful to the government of Benin for providing Igboho with access to medical care. His wife Ropo also goes free to see him and also to associate with him and bring food regularly.
“If Igboho had been captured as Kanu was extradited to Nigeria, we will not be talking about him today, his health would have deteriorated. Look at how his assistants have been treated.”