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Supporters assemble at Benin court ahead of Sunday Igboho’s arraignment



Supporters of Yoruba Nation activist, Sunday Adeyemo, popularly referred to as Sunday Igboho, were seen in their large numbers at Cour De’appal De Cotonou on Thursday.

The supporters said they were in court ahead of the arraignment of Sunday Igboho, who was arrested in the country on Monday.

The Yoruba-speaking supporters demanded that Igboho should not be returned to Nigeria, saying that he had committed no offence.

There had been reports that Igboho may be arraigned today before a Court of Appeal in Benin Republic.

On Wednesday, there were protests on Wednesday in Ibadan, Cotonou and London against Igboho’s arrest.

In Ibadan, armed policemen dispersed his supporters who protested in the city.

The protesters marched through the road leading to Soka area to the Soka bus stop along the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway where they sang and demanded the release of Igboho.

The protesters were bearing placards with various inscriptions.

A street hawker at the Soka bus stop told one of our correspondents that Igboho supporters said the Federal Government should not kill Igboho the way the winner of the June 12, 1993 election, Chief Moshood Abiola, was allegedly killed.

The hawker said the protest grounded traffic in the area and some motorists had to take alternative routes.

A resident of the area, Musbau Ogunbiyi, said the protest started at about 1:50pm.

He said, “The policemen came in about four patrol vans and a car. They shot in the air and chased away the protesters.”

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But another resident, Taye Adeoti, said the protesters marched towards the Challenge area after spending some minutes at the bus stop.

One of our correspondents observed that the armed police had taken over the place around 3:30pm when he arrived there.

In Cotonou, Republic of Benin, some Yoruba people in the city stormed the country’s court where it was believed the extradition hearing of Igboho would hold.

The protesters were seen singing solidarity songs and demanding freedom for Igboho in a video on the Facebook page of Olayomi Koiki, Igboho’s media aide.

The agitators also demanded an independent nation of Yoruba people, saying they had confidence in Benin Republic justice system.

In the two-minute video, an unnamed speaker told supporters of the activist to be calm, saying that “Igboho is alright, but has not gone to Germany” as being speculated.

“We are in Cotonou at the moment where the extradition case of Sunday Igboho will hold. Baba is fine, but the case has not been decided,” the speaker who spoke in Yoruba said.

Also, the Yoruba nation protesters in London stormed the British parliament to protest against the arrest of the activist.

In a live video by Heritage media on Facebook monitored by The PUNCH, protesters were seen with the Yoruba nation flag, placards and branded T-shirts with inscriptions such as #Leave Our freedom fighters alone, stop extrajudicial killings in southern Nigeria, Free Sunday Igboho, I stand with Sunday Igboho.

An unnamed speaker urged the supporters of the activist to be calm, saying “Igboho has not gone back to Germany as has been speculated. He is still in Cotonou.

“We are calling on the regime of Muhammadu Buhari to leave our freedom fighters alone. We are tired of the killings in Yorubaland. Enough is enough.”

Details later…

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