Afenifere condemns extension of Igboho’s incarceration
Urges Benin Republic govt to rescind decision, respect rule of law
The pan-Yoruba socio-political organisation, Afenifere, yesterday, expressed disappointment and profound regret over the announced extension of the incarceration of Yoruba nation agitator, Mr. Sunday Adeyemo Igboho, by six months.
National Publicity Secretary of the organisation, Mr. Jare Ajayi, said that extending the detention of anyone, who had not been convicted of any offence, was against the law of any country that claims to be guided by the rule of law.
The Afenifere spokesman said: “As of today, Sunday Igboho has spent about 204 days in Benin Republic detention. This is much longer than it should be for a person who had not been convicted of any offence and a person who is not a criminal by any standard. The elongation of his detention was a negation of the announcement by the Abuja-based lawyer, Mr. Pelumi Olajengbesi, that Igboho would be released soon.”
Ajayi, who lauded Mr. Yomi Alliyu (SAN) for his doggedness in pursuing Igboho’s case, urged him to continue, saying: “Alliyu’s decision to resort to the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) court to challenge the extension is quite welcomed. We are prayerful that the court will reverse the decision by the Benin Court and set Igboho free soonest.”
He, therefore, urged the Benin Republic government to rescind the ruling by its court to redeem its receding image on its respect for the rule of law.
According to Afenifere, Benin deserves a better record. Its extension of Igboho’s detention would only worsen its image if not reversed. The pan-Yoruba body urged Benin Republic not to descend to the level of Nigeria, which ranks 121st out 139.
The group also implored President Muhammadu Buhari-led government to loosen the grip it has on nation-state agitators like Sunday Igboho and Nnamdi Kanu as well as enhance its human rights record, saying: “By so doing, political tension in the country will reduce, socio-economic activities will be boosted with an improvement on the welfare of the people just as lives and property in Nigeria will be more secure.”