Human rights lawyer, Femi Falana (SAN) has revealed that Benin Republic insisted on allowing rule of law to determine the fate of Yoruba Nation activist, Sunday Igboho, who’s facing trial in the country.

Igboho, who had since been placed in detention in Benin Republic, was arrested in Cotonou while attempting to flee to Germany alongside his wife, Ropo.


The charges against the Yoruba Nation activist border on arms smuggling, inciting violence, and calling for a secession of the Yoruba from Nigeria.

Speaking on the matter, Falana revealed that Tukur Buratai, Nigeria’s ambassador to Benin Republic, requested the release of Igboho to him, but his request was declined.

According to Falana, Buratai was told that only the court would determine if Igboho would be released to the Nigerian government or not.

His words: “In the case of Sunday Igboho, again despite my disagreement with him, I came out to say you cannot just throw him into a waiting plane as we were told, it was attempted.

“You have to go to court. You have to make a request under international law, under the ECOWAS convention on extradition.

“The government of Nigeria is requested to submit an extradition request to the government of Benin Republic and so when the plenipotentiary, General Yusuf Buratai (retired), who at that time had not submitted his letters of credence asked that Igboho be handed over to him.

“He was told, ‘sorry, we operate the rule of law here’. That is why that matter is still in court.”