America-based human rights activist, Toyin Dawodu has warned Benin Republic of serious economic crisis if it fails to release Yoruba self-determination activist, Sunday Adeyemo, also known as Sunday Igboho within seven days.
Dawodu issued this warning on Tuesday in a zoom press conference from his US base in Riverside, California. He said the continued detention of Igboho by the Beninoise authorities is unlawful, adding, “Igboho has not committed any offence by being an agitator for fairness and security for the Yoruba people of Nigeria. There is currently no law that is against a man’s call for justice for his people.”
He said: “The Republic of Benin must not, under any circumstances, hand over Sunday Igboho to the Nigerian authorities for them to torture or dehumanize him. This is in tandem with international law principle which prevents a person that is fleeing political prosecution to be forcefully returned to the country of persecution.
“The Nigerian justice system is inherently oppressive and systemically weak against the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari that has been famous for not obeying court orders.
“The Republic of Benin must allow Sunday Igboho, after his unconditional release, to exercise his right to freedom of movement and to that extent, be free to travel out of the Republic of Benin to any country of his choice.”
In the event of failing to meet the demands, Dawodu warned of a strong network across the world prepared “to visit serious economic sanctions if it (Benin Republic) fails to honour its human rights obligations to persecuted individuals like Sunday Igboho.”
He continued: “While it is clear that the Republic of Benin is afraid to offend the Nigerian government and therefore is prepared to kowtow to the Nigerian government’s demand to continue to detain Sunday Igboho until he is returned to Nigeria, the Bininese authorities forget that indeed 80 per cent of its revenue as a country in the 70 years, have come from imports made by Nigerians through the Idiroko – Abeokuta border trades.
“Sunday Igboho has not committed any offence against any law, whether national or international. The Republic of Benin must not lend itself to be used to carry out the persecution of an innocent man, a citizen of Nigeria, because of his political views,” he added.