Falana reveals what Benin Republic told Buratai when he asked for Igboho to be handed over to him
Human rights lawyer, Femi Falana has narrated how Nigeria’s Ambassador to the Benin Republic, Lt. Gen. Tukur Buratai (retd.) allegedly asked the neighboring country to hand over Yoruba Nation agitator, Sunday Adeyemo popularly as Sunday Igboho over to him.
Falana claimed Buratai‘s request was turned down as the former Chief of Army Staff was told that Benin Republic follow rule of law.
The Senior Advocate of Nigeria, stated this during an interview on Channels Television on Thursday July 29, added that Buratai made the request before he submitted his letter of credence to President of Benin Republic, Patrice Talon.
The 63-year-old legal luminary further stated that he learnt there were attempts to throw Igboho in a waiting plane for return to Nigeria.
Falana said; “In the case of Sunday Igboho, again despite my disagreement with him, I came out to say you cannot just throw him into a waiting plane as we were told, it was attempted.
“You have to go to court. You have to make a request under international law, under the ECOWAS convention on extradition.
“The government of Nigeria is requested to submit an extradition request to the government of Benin Republic and so when the plenipotentiary, General Yusuf Buratai (retired), who at that time had not submitted his letters of credence asked that Igboho be handed over to him.
“He was told, ‘sorry, we operate the rule of law here’. That is why that matter is still in court.”
Falana said the Federal Government owes it a duty to convince the agitators by reposing confidence on the corporate existence of Nigeria as it is not a criminal offence for some persons to make separatists demands.
He said the current administration should respect human rights in line with Article 20 of the African Charter on Human Rights.
“Personally, I am strenuously opposed to the campaign for the balkanisation of Nigeria because I believe the masses of our people are oppressed by the ruling class and imperialism.
“To that extent, I have a fundamental ideological disagreement with those who are calling for the breakup of the country along ethnic lines.
“If a group of people decides to fight for the breakup of the country, the duty of the government is to try as much as possible to convince them to repose confidence in the corporate existence of Nigeria.”