July 21, (THEWILL) – Weeks after Nigeria’s Department of State Services (DSS) declared Sunday Igboho wanted, the Yoruba Nation agitator was finally arrested along with his wife, Ropo, in Cotonou, Benin Republic.
Igboho’s lawyer, Yomi Alliyu (SAN), who confirmed the arrest, said Igboho and his wife, who is a German citizen, were arrested on Monday night at an airport in Benin Republic.
Credible security sources said they were arrested by the operatives of Brigade criminelle (Criminal Brigade) at the l’aéroport international Bernadin Gantin (Cardinal Bernadin Gantin International Airport) in Cotonou, where he tried to catch a flight to Germany with his wife.
The source said Igboho initially escaped before he was finally rearrested by the Beninese police.
“He tried to escape, but the police were able to grab him back. He is at the moment with the Brigade criminelle in Cotonou,” the security source said.
Another source said Igboho had presented a Beninese Passport to officials at the l’aéroport international Bernadin Gantin in Cotonou to travel to Germany when he was identified.
Sensing the trouble awaiting him, he was said to have tried to wriggle his way out but the Beninese officials turned down his overtures and immediately alerted other security officials, who effected his arrest.
“We have strict laws here in the Benin Republic. Those people who helped him obtain a Beninese Passport misled him because they didn’t tell him the danger ahead of being a fugitive.
“If he had tried a place like the neighbouring Togo, it would have been easy for him to escape to Europe but here in Benin Republic, it’s a hard nut to crack,” the source added.
THEWILL gathered that the DSS may likely parade him before the media today or Thursday after the Sallah break.
A security source who did not want to be mentioned as he is not authorised to speak with the media, said there is jubilation in the security circle following the arrest, which he described as the best gift for the Eid El Kabir celebrations.
His lawyer described the arrest of his client as shocking and urged the government of Germany, Benin Republic and the international community “to rise up and curb the impunity of the Nigerian government by refusing any application for extradition of our client who already has an application before the International Criminal Court duly acknowledged”.
THEWILL reports that Igboho’s arrest is coming about three weeks after Nigeria’s Department of State Services (DSS) declared him wanted for allegedly stockpiling arms, an allegation he has since denied.
The DSS had raided Igboho’s residence in the Soka area of Ibadan, Oyo State, on July 1, 2021, and arrested about 12 of his aides and killed two of them during a gun battle
The Federal Government had placed the Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS) and the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) on alert to stop Igboho from leaving the country; but the NIS has also denied the report.
The DSS is yet to issue a statement to confirm the arrest Sunday Igboho at the time of filing this report.