Sunday Adeyemo, widely known as Sunday Igboho, a prominent Yoruba nation agitator, has finally regained his freedom after two years of legal battles in the Benin Republic.
During a recent interview with the Nigerian Tribune, the embattled activist declared his legal liberty to return to Nigeria and travel worldwide.
Igboho, who has been at the center of a campaign for the Yoruba Nation’s sovereignty, expressed his relief, stating, “I am now free to return to Nigeria and visit any country in the world. I have fulfilled all the legal conditions attached to my bail a few years back, and I am coming home to Nigeria, my country of origin, any moment from now.”
“I can confirm to you that I am now free to come back to Nigeria. There is no legal encumbrance again. Even though I have been living in Cotonou for some time, I can confirm to you categorically that I have now secured the liberty to leave Cotonou for Nigeria.”
This development marks a significant turning point in Igboho’s ordeal. He had been detained in Cotonou since his arrest at the Cardinal Bernardin International Airport in July 2021 while attempting to flee to Germany.
The former President Muhammadu Buhari-led Federal Government’s efforts to repatriate him to Nigeria were unsuccessful, leading to prolonged legal proceedings in the Benin Republic.
Igboho’s legal battles culminated in the setting aside of the initial judgment by the Court of Appeal in August 2022. Subsequently, he was granted bail, which effectively kept him in Cotonou, Benin. His release now clears the path for him to return to Nigeria.
Sunday Igboho came to prominence when he declared the Yoruba Nation’s sovereignty in March 2021. He initiated a campaign to address security concerns in the South-Western states by advocating for the expulsion of killer herdsmen and kidnappers from the region. This call was accompanied by an invitation to Yoruba people residing in other parts of Nigeria to return to their homeland.
His activism took a dramatic turn when his Ibadan residence was invaded by operatives of the Department of State Services (DSS) in July 2021. The attack resulted in at least one fatality and the vandalization of his property. The DSS claimed to have recovered seven AK-47 rifles, pump-action guns, 5,000 rounds of ammunition, charms, and other weapons from his apartment during the operation.
In a video released on social media following his release, Igboho expressed gratitude to various individuals who supported him during his detention in Benin. He singled out former President Olusegun Obasanjo, Nobel laureate Wole Soyinka, Professor Banji Akintoye, Ayo Adebanjo, and several traditional rulers for their significant roles in securing his release.
Igboho also extended his appreciation to President Talon of Benin Republic and his cabinet, as well as religious leaders, pastors, Muslim clerics, and traditional worshippers who offered their prayers and support throughout his ordeal.
Igboho’s statement partly read, “First of all, my sincere appreciation goes to God almighty, the master of the universe for making this day.
“I give special thanks to President Talon of Benin Republic and to all members of his cabinet. My gratitude goes to my heroic father, Professor Banji Akintoye, and Professor Wole Soyinka for their support in the course of the struggle. May God reward you Baba for your standing courageously for our Yoruba nation and me. You promised to stand by me through my ordeal in Benin Republic and you have fulfilled your promise.
“I will not forget to appreciate former President Olusegun Obasanjo, Baba Ayo Adebanjo for their roles, even though only God gives freedom. Let me use this opportunity to say thank you to all religious leaders, pastors, Muslim clerics and traditional worshippers for their prayers day and night.”
Watch him speak below:
ICYMI: Sunday Igboho's press statement after he regained freedom from Benin Republicpic.twitter.com/snlPNeLVJu
— Instablog9ja (@instablog9ja) October 9, 2023