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Obasanjo travels to Benin Republic, allegedly meets Talon over Sunday Igboho’s trial


Obasanjo travels to Benin Republic, allegedly meets Talon over Sunday Igboho's trial

Former President Olusegun Obasanjo was reportedly in the Republic of Benin to meet with President Patrice Talon some days ago over the lingering Sunday Igboho court and extradition debacle, The Cable reports.

Obasanjo had travelled to Zanzibar in Tanzania on August 1 and rerouted to the Francophone nation.

The revered African politician was said to have met with Talon after his condolence visit to a former ruler of the country, Nicephore Soglo on his wife’s demise.

Roseline was 87 years old.

Soglo was Beninise President from 1991 to 1996 and was one of the African leaders who intervened when the late General Sani Abacha jailed Obasanjo in 1995.

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A reliable source who was privy to Obasanjo’s trip said: “He also met with Patrice Talon. The purpose of the meeting was to seek soft-landing for Sunday Igboho.

“He’s asking the Beninese authorities to grant the separatist leader asylum, and not to return him to Nigeria.

“The former president intervened at the request of some southwest leaders.”

One of Obasanjo’s closest aides also confirmed that the former president was in Benin Republic.

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WuzupNigeria earlier reported how Igboho ran into trouble with authorities in both Nigeria and the small Francophone country. While the latter is probing the passport he carried, the Federal Government had accused him of planning to stage a war against the state.

The July 1 Department of State Services (DSS) operation at his Soka residence, Ibadan, in Oyo State had allegedly unearthed assault rifles and ammunition.

During the raid, two of the fugitive’s allies were killed while 12 others were prosecuted.

Ten days after he was declared wanted in Nigeria, Igboho and his German wife, Ropo, were apprehended at the Cadjèhoun Airport in Cotonou.

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On July 21, fresh reports suggested that the Federal Government had commenced the process to extradite Igboho from Benin Republic.

The move had fuelled fear among his supporters and political observers who alleged that Benin Republic may hand over the agitator to Nigeria without resistance for obvious reasons.

Apart from decades of close bond, Nigeria being Africa’s most populous nation still plays a “big brother” role to its neighbour.