By John Ikani
Former President, Olusegun Obasanjo reportedly travelled to Benin Republic in the first week of August in an attempt at mediating in the ongoing trial of Yoruba Nation activist, Sunday Adeyemo, otherwise known as Igboho.
Igboho has been in detention since July 19, 2021 when he was arrested by Interpol at the Cadjèhoun Airport in Cotonou.
He was arrested with his wife, Ropo but the Cour De’appal De Cotonou ordered release of the Germany-based wife of the activist, saying there were no allegations against her.
According to an online newspaper, TheCable, top sources in the diplomatic circle revealed that the former president travelled to Zanzibar, an island in Tanzania, on August 1 and rerouted to Benin Republic.
He was said to have travelled to Benin Republic in the guise of condoling with Nicephore Soglo who recently lost his wife – Roseline Soglo.
Roseline died on July 25 at the age of 87 in Cotonou.
Soglo was president of Benin Republic from 1991 to 1996.
It was gathered the former Beninise president and Obasanjo have maintained a long-standing relationship over the years.
TheCable’s source said “He also met with Patrice Talon. The purpose of the meeting was to seek soft-landing for Sunday Igboho.
“He’s asking the Beninise authorities to grant the separatist leader asylum, and not to return him to Nigeria.”
Also, some Yoruba-speaking monarchs in Benin Republic have mounted pressure on the government to grant asylum to Igboho.
The monarchs have submitted the letter to Talon and some other top government officials, including the Minister of Interior and the Senate President.
The letter was signed by the Alajuwon of Ajuwon land, who is the President of the Council of Obas, alongside the Onikoyi Abesan-an, Alajase of Ajase land, Onimase of Imase land, Oniohorige of Ohori, Onnilaase of Ilase land, Onikrake of Kraka land from Seme town.
Spokesperson for Ilana Egbe Omo Odua, confirmed the strategic interventions by the monarchs.
He said: “Yes, the monarchs have been very helpful. We are hopeful that Igboho will be granted asylum this week.”