Sunday Igboho Risks 21 Years In Jail Over ‘Doctored Beninese Passport’
Sunday Adeyemo, also known as Sunday Adeyemo, is a Nigerian rapper. Sunday Igboho could face a sentence of 21 years in prison for presenting a Beninese passport before his travel was canceled.
Igboho and his wife, Ropo, were detained at Cotonou’s Cadjèhoun Airport on Monday.
The secessionist, who is wanted in Nigeria, is claimed to have presented Immigration officials in Benin with a forged travel document.
Nigeria’s Immigration Service (NIS) reported on July 9 that Igboho had been placed on a no-fly list.
As part of his attempts to depart, NIS informed Nigeria Police, the Department of State Services (DSS), and the National Intelligence Agency (NIA) that he was attempting to obtain a new Nigerian passport.
As the authorities discovered his plan, Igboho allegedly made plans for an unofficial Beninese passport.
After security operatives uncovered Gus’ true identity, Igboho and Ropo were halted on their route to Germany.
Mr. Tolulase, a politician in Benin, told BBC Yoruba that the situation for the agitator is not looking good.
Despite Benin’s modest size, the legislator noted, the laws are carefully enforced.
“On this passport issue, take me for instance, I’m from Benin but married an Ijebu woman. We have five kids. She gave birth to two in Nigeria, three in Benin.
“Only the three have Beninese passport, the two others and my wife do not have. She can only apply if we marry legally in Benin.
“Even after the court wedding, the passport is not issued immediately. She will wait for some years and must go through the processes.
“The first thing you must have is National Identity Card. Now, if you’re not a citizen, the only way you can get a passport is if you legally marry a Beninoise.
“You can see it’s not easy. So, if you procure a fake one, you’ll be uncovered because you don’t have a National Identity Card. The details are linked.
“The card must have a family name. About three to five of your relatives must confirm to the government they know you and your early years.
“It is after they testify that the court will issue the card, which can then be used to apply for a passport. If such is doctored, the punishment is 21 years imprisonment. It’s a serious offence.
“And it’s not just the owner of the fake passport that will be prosecuted, all those who know about it will be charged to court.
“On Chief Sunday Igboho, the Beninese government will carry out a detailed investigation that will expose everyone involved in his passport obtainment”, Tolulase said.
Meanwhile, the Yoruba Nation advocate’s lawyers are opposing extradition to Nigeria, where he could face treason charges.
The federal government, its agencies, and the governors of the South-West have remained silent about Igboho’s plight.
Igboho’s supporters in Nigeria and abroad are demanding his immediate release, claiming that self-determination is not a crime.
Joe Okei-Odumakin, President of Women Arise and Centre for Change, has urged the Beninoise government not to repatriate Igboho.
She claimed that Igboho cannot be assured of safety or justice in Nigeria, and that if he is extradited under the current conditions, he will “come to grief.”