ECOWAS orders Benin Republic to pay Igboho N26.4m (20m CFA) over unlawful detention

The Community Court of Justice of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), sitting in Abuja, has ordered the government of the Republic of Benin to pay Yoruba nation activist Chief Sunday Adeyemo, popularly known as Sunday Igboho, a sum of 20 million CFA within three months for unlawful detention and violation of his fundamental human rights.

The court on Tuesday, December 5, 2023, ordered that the money should be paid within three months.

Igboho had on February 10, 2023, applied to the court challenging his arrest and detention in the French-speaking country.

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The ECOWAS court also directed the country to comply with its order and revert to the court with evidence of payment.

Recall that on July 20, 2021, Igboho was arrested alongside his wife, Ropo, in Cotonou, Benin Republic, and detained at the request of the Nigerian government.

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The Yoruba nation agitator had fled Nigeria after a combined team of the Nigeria Army and the Department of State Services (DSS) raided his residence, located around the Soka area of Ibadan, Oyo State’s capital, on July 1, 2021.

Igboho had planned a “Yoruba nation rally” in Lagos two days before the raid. The raid led to the deaths of two people, while 12 of his aides were arrested.

The DSS had alleged that Igboho was stockpiling weapons and subsequently declared him wanted.

Attempts by the Nigerian government to repatriate him to Nigeria after his arrest were unsuccessful.

He was recently released from protective custody in Cotonou, having fulfilled all the conditions attached to his bail after his arraignment in court more than a year ago.

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