Strong indications emerged last night that the Federal Government may be exploring a ‘Plan B’ over the resumed trial of the Yoruba Nation agitator, Sunday Adeyemo (aka Sunday Igboho), following unconfirmed reports on whether the Benin Republic authorities may be willing to allow the activist extradited to Nigeria to face alleged criminal charges having been declared wanted by the Department of State Services (DSS).
Highly informed sources told this newspaper that since commencement of the trial given the controversies it had generated, government on its part was already exploring other means of fighting back, should Benin Republic decide to look away by not sanctioning Igboho’s extradition, which may likely come in form of ‘heavy economic sanctions’ to the West African nation.
The charges against the Yoruba Nation activist border on arms smuggling, inciting violence and calling for a secession of the Yoruba from the Nigerian state, a development which Igboho and his lawyers have since denied all allegations levelled against him.
This development, however, emerged on a day it was gathered that journalists and supporters of the Yoruba Nation activist were allegedly barred from witnessing his hearing yesterday.
Igboho’s supporters have been in court as early as 7:30am on Monday, anticipating the arrival of the Yoruba youth leader, who has been in detention since Thursday, according to an online news portal, TheCable. However, a source, who craved anonymity on the possible adoption of the ‘Plan B’ over Igboho’s possible extradition, said the issue was currently been reviewed with a possible breakthrough for the government.
The source said: “I know the Federal Government is currently looking at the situation but I can tell you that government is looking at making her fellow counterpart see reason with it. You know Benin Republic enjoys a lot of economic benefits from Nigeria and wouldn’t want to sabotage it.
“But in the event that they think otherwise, the options economically are there to explore and you can agree with me that nobody would want to truncate such golden opportunities.”
Meanwhile, there was, however, no sign of Igboho at the court, which was scheduled for 10am yesterday. It was gathered that while many waited patiently, many detainees were brought to court for hearing in minibuses, but none of those buses had Igboho in them.
A source within the courts, however, told The- Cable that Igboho had been brought to court earlier than anyone else to avoid the possibility of any drama or clash.
The court staff added that Igboho was now at the “phase of law enforcement” in the court, and was currently indoors with the prosecutor in charge. Igboho’s cleric, Idris Oladejo, also confirmed to TheCable that his friend, whom he “had been fasting and praying for, is in court”. Igboho’s lawyer has also been seen going in and out of the chamber.
Igboho and his wife, Ropo, were arrested at an airport in Cotonou last week, and detained at the request of the Nigerian government. His lawyers requested the release of his wife on the grounds that she had committed no offence against the Nigerian state.
On Thursday, the court answered the prayers and ordered her release and a return of her passport. Igboho was taken to detention, where he has been up until yesterday.