In the early months of 2021, the call for secession from the Yoruba nation group, led by Sunday Adeyemo, popularly known as Sunday Igboho, and the IPOB group, led by Nnamdi Kanu, took a higher turn. The two separatist leaders gave their all into seeking secession and standing on their own as a nation due to the alleged injustice being melted down by the federal government, which became intense during the Buhari- led administration. The call for secession by the Yoruba nation group brought about numerous rallies in Yoruba- speaking states, which the federal government is not comfortable with, since President Buhari made it known that the unity of the country is non- negotiable.
During the cause of Sunday Igboho’ s rallies and move for a Yoruba nation, he experienced attacks several times in his home. On July 1st, 2021, the Department of State Services (DSS) raided his home, killing two of his aides and arresting others, while Sunday Igboho was not seen. He was later reported to have been arrested in Cotonou, Benin Republic, on July 19th while he was leaving for Germany with his wife. Sunday Igboho’ s case has since been under the Benin government after all plans to have him extradited to Nigeria failed.
Pelumi Olajengbesi Calls Out Yoruba Leaders
On the 21st of November, one of Sunday Igboho’ s lawyers, Pelumi Olajengbesi, stated that the South- West leaders had failed Igboho by not standing by him in his trying times. The lawyer made reference to the move taken by the Igbo leaders who visited Buhari to appeal for the unconditional release of Nnamdi Kanu, the IPOB leader.
Both Kanu and Igboho are separately agitating for the South- East zone and the South- West zone respectively from the Nigerian state. In response, the Buhari- led administration got them arrested. While Kanu is in the DSS custody in Abuja, Igboho is being held in the Benin facing terrorism charges.
Recall that on Friday November 19th, President Buhari said he would consider the demand for the release of Kanu when he was visited by some respected Igbo elders, led by Chief Mbazulike Amaechi, former Minister of Aviation in the First Republic. In response to this act, Pelumi Olajengbesi stated that, the Yoruba leaders should learn from the Igbo elders who showed ” communal and tribal loyalty to one of their own, Mr. Nnamdi Kanu” .
The Effect Of Igbo Leaders’ Visit To President Buhari
The impact of what the Igbo elders did is said to be deep and of great value. Pelumi Olajengbesi, while explaining the benefit of what the Igbo elders did, said that the visit of the elders underscores the calculated compassion of the Igbos to one of their own, even at the risk of opprobrium and scorn in federal circles.
In a statement he titled, ” Sunday Igboho & Nnamdi Kanu’ s Travail: Yoruba Leaders Need To Learn From The Igbos” , which was obtained by Punch News, he said, ” I speak with no hesitation about Chief Sunday Igboho whose ordeal parallels that of Mr. Nnamdi Kanu in original intent, blackmail and oppression by the powers that be. Unlike the latter whose kinsmen and kiths have rallied around in an unequivocal display of affection and compassion, Chief Sunday Igboho and his associates continue to be hounded like orphans without roots and bearing. ”
Pelumi Olajengbesi added that the elders and leaders of the Yoruba tribe have failed Chief Sunday Igboho and his aides. This includes the Kings, Kingmakers, and Bearers of the Authority of the Tribe. He claimed that they have turned a blind eye and a deaf ear to the sufferings band agony of Sunday Igboho whose only offence was seeking a better life for his people.
He advised that the Yoruba leaders borrow a leaf from the Igbo leaders and approach the President to secure the liberty of Sunday Igboho and all his associates.
Sunday Igbo Might Be Extradited To Nigeria
However, reports have it that Sunday Igboho is currently under extradition procedure back to Nigeria. Sunday Igboho’ s counsel, Chief Yomi Aliyu, had earlier filed a suit against the DSS on behalf of Igboho at the High Court in Ibadan. The court ordered the DSS to pay Igboho the sum of N20 billion as exemplary damages. But then, in a series of court affidavits, which were declared and signed by Johnson Oluwole, a representative of the DSS, and presented before the High Court in Ibadan on November 22nd, 2021, the DSS stated that the Yoruba Nation leader was currently undergoing extradition procedure to bring him back to Nigeria.
The Affidavit Tabled By The DSS
According to PUNCH NEWS, the affidavit titled ” Applicants affidavit in support of its motion on notice for stay of execution of judgement of this suit No/M/435/2021 and an injunction pending the determination of the pending appeal” read in part that, ” That it is a fact that the applicant Chief Sunday Igboho has been declared a fugitive by the Nigerian Police Force sometimes in the month of June 2021. ” That it is a notorious fact that the applicant was arrested on the 19th of July 2021 and is currently in the custody of the Beninese security agents undergoing extradition procedure back to Nigeria. ”
” That it is a fact that the applicant is under investigation by the security agents for treasonable acts that are inimical to the cooperate existence of the country. ”
That it is a fact that it will be inequitable for this honorable court to refuse this application for stay against the background that the applicant is a fugitive undergoing extradition processing in the Benin Republic.
With this affidavit tabled before the Court, the suit filed against the DSS might be of no effect until Sunday Igboho is brought back to Nigeria.