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Afenifere, YCE kick against extension of Igboho’s detention in Benin Republic

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We’ll rather die than allow herdsmen takeover our land, Igboho says amid threat of arrest

Apex pan-Yoruba socio-cultural organisation, Afenifere and the Yoruba Council of Elders (YCE), have faulted the decision of government of Benin Republic to extend the detention period of Yoruba nation activist, Sunday Igboho, by another six months.

Igboho’s lead counsel, Chief Yomi Alliyu (SAN), had, on Monday, disclosed that the Beninese government had concluded plans to increase his client’s detention time by another six months.

However, while reacting to the news, Afenifere faulted the move and expressed its disappointment over the development.

The National Publicity Secretary of Afenifere, Jare Ajayi, who conveyed the group’s anger in a statement on Tuesday, said:

“As of today, Sunday Igboho has spent about 204 days in Benin detention. This is much longer than it should be for a person who had not been convicted of any offence and a person who is not a criminal by any standard.

“Extending the detention of anyone who had not been convicted of any offence is against the law of any country that claims to be guided by the rule of law.

“We call on the Benin Republic government to rescind this ruling by its court to redeem its receding image on its respect for the rule of law.

“Benin deserves a better record. Its extension of Igboho’s detention would only worsen its image if not reversed.

Read also: Stop the talk, prosecute identified terror sponsors now, Afenifere tasks Nigerian govt

“We urge the President Muhammadu Buhari-led government to loosen the grip it has on nation-state agitators like Sunday Igboho and Nnamdi Kanu as well as enhance its human rights record.

“By so doing, political tension in the country will reduce, socio-economic activities will be boosted with an improvement on the welfare of the people just as lives and properties in Nigeria would be more secure.”

In the same vein, the Secretary of the YCE, Dr Kunle Olajide, also faulted the extension of the agitator’s detention period.

“They cannot do it because it is a judicial decision. I don’t think any government can interfere with that and in any case, we have Nigeria’s representative in the Benin Republic.

“I don’t believe that is feasible. It is wrong and they should not, in any way, do that,” Olajide said in a short statement.

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