Former President Olusegun Obasanjo has waded into the ordeal of Sunday Igboho, a Yoruba freedom fighter and proponent of Oduduwa nation, who’s facing trial in Benin Republic.
Federal Character reports that Obasanjo was in Benin Republic to commiserate with former president of the tiny west African, Nicephore Soglo, who recently lost his wife – Roseline Soglo.
Roseline died on July 25 at the age of 87 in Cotonou. Soglo was president of Benin Republic from 1991 to 1996.
Sources who are familiar with the itinerary of Obasanjo said he went to the francophone country after a decoy trip to Zanzibar, an island in Tanzania, on August 1.
Former Beninise president and Obasanjo have remained best of friends over the years, a relationship that began during the incarceration of Obasanjo by the late general Sani Abacha led junta.
Soglo is one of the African leaders who intervened at the time the Abacha regime arrested and jailed Obasanjo in 1995. After his meeting with Soglo, Obasanjo met with President Patrice Talon on the trial of Sunday Igboho.
“He also met with Patrice Talon. The purpose of the meeting was to seek soft-landing for Sunday Igboho. He’s asking the Beninise authorities to grant the separatist leader asylum, and not to return him to Nigeria”, federal character quoted a source who’s familiar with the development to have said.
Sunday Igboho is being tried in Benin Republic for immigration related Offences and he’s also facing possible extradition to Nigeria where’s been declared wanted by the federal government.
Igboho, alongside his wife, was arrested by Beninise security forces while attempting to flee to Germany. His wife has since been released.
The Department of State Services (DSS) raided his residence in Oyo on July 1, killing two people and arresting 12 of his supporters.
He has been in detention in Cotonou since his arrest.
There’s been legal fireworks regarding the extradition of Igboho with analysts saying Nigeria and Benin Republic do not have any extradittion treaty, hence the possibility of his repatriation to Nigeria is slim. However, there are concerns that Nigeria might use it overwhelming influence in West Africa to force through an extradition.