YORUBA Nation activist Sunday Adeyemo has finally been transferred to a more humane detention facility and been given access to medical attention after a Benin Republic high court accepted a plea from his lawyers that his civil rights be respected.
On July 1, men of the Nigerian Department of State Security (DSS) raided Mr Adeyemo’s Ibadan home, killing two of his aides and arresting 13 others. Although Mr Adeyemo, popularly known as Sunday Igboho managed to escape, he home was turned inside out with the DSS seizing items including his international passport, claiming he was stockpiling weapons.
Subsequently, Mr Igboho fled to the Republic of Benin and was arrested at Cotonou airport on July 18 while trying to board a plane to Germany. Yesterday, he was arraigned in court in Cotonou where he is expected to be charged with an immigration offence and the Nigerian government has been asked to file its case against him.
After a marathon session which lasted for eight hours, the Cour De’appal De Cotonou, granted Mr Igboho access to medical care. Mr Igboho’s lawyers fought to secure bail for the activist but the court only granted him access to medical care after the lengthy hearing which ended around past 11pm last night.
About six lawyers represented the Federal Government of Nigeria in court yesterday, made up of a combination of local and international legal luminaries. Speaking after the sitting, Pelumi Olajengbesi, a member of Mr Igboho’s legal team, expressed confidence that his client would be released.
Although the court refused to grant Mr Igboho bail yesterday, it ruled that he should be transferred to another detention facility after his lawyers complained that his fundamental human rights were being abused in his current abode. According to Yoruba group Ilana Omo Oodua, Mr Igboho was detained in leg chains and handcuffs while in detention and needed support to eat and use the toilet.
Before yesterday’s order, Mr Igboho was detained at Brigade Criminelle facility. Although details of the new detention facility are yet to be disclosed, it is believed that Mr Igboho would possibly be moved to Cotonou Civil Prison.
After the hearing, the Cour De’Appel De Cotonou remanded Mt Igboho police custody. Mr Igboho’s lawyers said that prosecutors claimed he was on a watchlist for arms trafficking, inciting violence that could result in social disturbance and causing disunity in Nigeria.