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Court orders Benin Republic to pay Igboho 20m CFA over rights violation

Court orders Benin Republic to pay Igboho 20m CFA over rights violation
December 06
08:02 2023

The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) court of justice has ordered the government of the Republic of Benin to pay Sunday Adeyemo, popularly called Igboho, 20 million CFA for “unlawful detention”.

The court ordered that the money should be paid within three months.

Igboho had on February 10, filed an application before the court challenging his arrest and detention in the French-speaking country.

Judgment in the suit marked ECW/CCJ/APP/15/22 was delivered by a three-member panel of the court.

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The ECOWAS court also directed the country to comply with its order and report back to the court with evidence of payment.

BACKGROUND

In July 2021, Igboho was arrested alongside his wife, Ropo, in Cotonou, Benin Republic, and detained at the request of the Nigerian government.

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The Yoruba Nation agitator had fled Nigeria after the Department of State Services (DSS) raided his residence in Ibadan, Oyo state on July 1.

Igboho had planned a ‘Yoruba nation rally’ in Lagos two days before the raid.

The raid led to the death of two people while 12 of his aides were arrested.

The DSS had alleged that Igboho was stockpiling weapons, and subsequently declared him wanted.

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Attempts by the Nigerian government to repatriate him, after his arrest, were unsuccessful.

His wife was later released by the Beninese authorities.

Igboho was arraigned at the Court D’Apeal in Cotonou and was detained in a prison facility in the country.

The charges against him bordered on arms smuggling, inciting violence and calling for a secession of the Yoruba from the Nigerian state.

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Igboho and his lawyers denied all allegations levelled against him.

However, fresh allegations bordering on illegal entry and criminal association, were levelled against him at the Benin Republic court.

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In March 2022, he was released to his doctors under the agreement that he should not leave the medical centre or Cotonou for any reason.

In October, Yomi Aliu, Igboho’s lawyer, confirmed that his client had been released.

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“Yes, he has been released. He was released yesterday. He is now in Germany,” Aliu said.

Asked to speak on the state of his release, he said “I can’t speak about it”.

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