Nigeria: Kanu and Igboho - Hard Choices Before Nigeria

27 July 2021

In the face of crippling economic and security challenges, the Federal Government of Nigeria under President Buhari, has had the additional challenge of dealing with dissent, and very worrisome and unrelenting agitations for regional autonomy and outright secession. One of the arrowheads of these agitations, is the leader of the proscribed Igbo nationalist organisation, Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), Nnamdi Kanu, who was abducted in Kenya and whisked back to Nigeria, 'Gestapo-style' to continue his trial in court. However, his arrest did not deter his counterpart in the South West, Sunday Adeyemo aka Sunday Igboho, who after the invasion of his residence by men of the DSS on July 1, 2021, fled the country to neighbouring Republic of Benin where he was arrested by the authorities last week, while attempting to board a flight to Germany along with his wife, Ropo. Now the concerted efforts by the Nigerian Government to extradite Igboho, are the subject-matter of the present diplomatic row between Nigeria and Benin Republic. In this Special Edition, Femi Falana, SAN, Dr Ayodele Akenroye, Kede Aihie and Jefferson Uwoghiren examine the complex legal issues arising from the convoluted international conundrum in this Discourse

Why Sunday Adeyemo Cannot be Extradited to Nigeria Without Due Process

Femi Falana, SAN

Hammoni Tidjani

Sometime in 2003, a detachment of the Nigeria Police Force invaded Benin Republic and forcefully arrested Hammoni Tidjani, who was alleged to have been involved in several cases of trans-border crimes including armed robbery, car snatching and money laundering. The suspect was brought to Nigeria and charged before the High Courts of Ogun and Lagos States. But, while he was standing trial at the Lagos High Court, he was reported to have died of stroke in a crowded cell at the Kirikiri Maximum Correctional Centre. The brutal treatment meted out to the suspect and the breach of the sovereignty of Benin Republic, attracted the condemnation of the human rights community.

Cameroonian Refugees

In January 2019, 53 refugees and asylum seekers from Cameroon were arrested and detained at the request of President Paul Biya. In spite of the intervention of the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, the Federal Government deported them to Cameroon in utter breach of the law.

On the instructions of the refugees and asylum seekers, we approached the Federal High Court for legal redress. As the Federal Government could not justify the brazen violations of the fundamental rights of the Plaintiffsthe trial Judge, Chinyere J. declared their deportation illegal, awarded damages of N5 million to each Applicant, and ordered the Federal Government to bring them back to Nigeria. Not satisfied with the decision, the Federal Government has taken the matter to the Court of Appeal.

Nnamdi Kanu

A few weeks ago, the leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), Mr. Nnamdi Kanu was allegedly abducted in Nairobi, Kenya, and forcefully brought to Nigeria by security forces. Even though Kanu was liable to be arrested and brought back to Nigeria to face trial having jumped bail, the refusal of the Federal Government to follow due process in the case has exposed Nigeria to international opprobrium. Even though the Guardian Newspaper of London has revealed that the British passport of Mr. Kanu has been traced to Kenya, the Kenyatta administration has denied involvement in the illegal abduction.

Sunday Igboho's Extradition

But, unlike Kenya, the Republic of Benin has rejected the demand to deport Chief Adeyemo (a.k.a. Sunday Igboho) outside the ambit of the law. Hence, the Federal Government has submitted a request for the extradition of Igboho in accordance with the provisions of the ECOWAS Convention on Extradition, and the Extradition Law of Benin Republic

On July 1, 2021, the residence of Chief Sunday Adeyemo (a.k.a Igboho) at Ibadan, Oyo State, was raided by armed operatives of the Department of State Services (DSS). Even though Igboho escaped arrest, two of his guards were killed while 13 other people were forcefully arrested in the compound and taken to Abuja where they have since been held incommunicado. Thereafter, Igboho was declared wanted and put on International Criminal Police Organisation (INTERPOL) watch-list by the DSS. We have however, confirmed that Igboho and his wife were arrested by Interpol in Cotonou, Benin Republic on Monday, July 19, 2021 on their way to Germany.

According to media reports, Igboho and his wife were detained by the Police authorities in a criminal Police station in Cotonou (his wife has subsequently been released). If they are indicted for breaching the Criminal Code of Benin Republic, they are liable to be arraigned before a criminal court in Cotonou. Contrary to speculations in the media, it is submitted that Igboho cannot be expelled from Benin and deported to Nigeria on the basis of his arrest by Interpol without due process as prescribed by Article 12(4) of the African Charter on Human and Peoples Rights, which provides that "A non-national legally admitted in a territory of a State Party to the present Charter, may only be expelled from it by virtue of a decision taken in accordance with the law."

Thus, the Federal Government cannot bring back Igboho to the country without first making a request for his extradition and prosecution in Nigeria, pursuant to the provisions of the ECOWAS Convention A/P.1/8/94 on Extradition, which is applicable in the 15 member States of the ECOWAS. It is pertinent to note that, the 1994 ECOWAS Convention has superseded the 1984 Extradition Treaty between Nigeria, Togo, Benin and Ghana pursuant to Article 32 of the ECOWAS Convention on Extradition.

Accordingly, upon the receipt of a request for the extradition of Igboho, the Government of Benin Republic will be under a legal obligation to commence extradition proceedings in one of its domestic courts. It is pertinent to point out that by virtue of Article 28 (2) of the ECOWAS Convention on Extradition, the procedure with regard to extradition and provisional arrest are governed solely by the law of the requested State, which in this case is that of the Benin Republic.

Apart from providing for a speedy extradition procedure, the Government of Benin Republic shall ensure that Igboho, whose extradition is requested, has the right to be heard by a judicial authority and to be assisted by the Lawyer of his own choice. Nigeria is specifically requested by Article 4 of the ECOWAS Convention on Extradition, to convince the Court in Cotonou that the offence in respect of which Igboho is wanted is not political, or for the purpose of prosecuting him on account of his ethnic group or political opinion. Various provisions of the African Charter on Human and Peoples' Rights and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, to which Nigeria is also a party, apply as well. As noted, if the person is lawfully within the territory of the rendering State, extradition requires due process.

Furthermore, an extraordinary (extra-legal) rendition frustrates the requirements of the African Charter, and the Covenant that anyone who is arrested or detained should have a right to challenge the validity of his or her detention. The seizure and rendition of suspects may be characterised as a "forced disappearance" under international human rights law, by which an individual is abducted by persons acting on behalf of or with the acquiescence of the State, followed by a denial (or obfuscation) of information or other forms of accountability by State authorities.

From the information at our disposal, the new Ambassador of Nigeria to Benin Republic, General Yusuf Buratai (Rtd), has hurriedly submitted an application for the deportation of Igboho to Nigeria. With respect, the request cannot be granted as it has to comply with Article 18 of the Extradition Convention. It is not sufficient to state that Igboho is wanted for terrorism and murder. The request must be supported by a statement of the offences for which extradition is requested, the time and place of their commission; their legal descriptions; and a reference to the relevant legal provision shall be set out as accurately as possible; and an authenticated copy of the relevant law indicating the sentence which may be or has been imposed for the offence. To that extent, the Republic of Benin has not received a proper request from the Federal Government, for the extradition of Igboho.

Meanwhile, the Government of Benin Republic is detaining Igboho provisionally, to await the request of the Federal Government for his extradition. It should be noted that the provisional arrest may be terminated if, within a period of 20 days after the arrest, the requested State has not received a request for extradition from the requesting State, in accordance with Article 15 of the ECOWAS Extradition Convention. If there is no strong evidence that Igboho has committed criminal offences, the Federal Government should not embarrass the country by requesting for his extradition.

Femi Falana, SAN, Human Rights Lawyer and Activist

The Kanu and Igboho Saga: International Law and Extradition to Nigeria

Dr Ayodele Akenroye

Background

On June 27, 2021, news emerged that Nnamdi Kanu the separatist leader of Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) had been arrested by the Kenyan Government, while in Kenya, at the behest of the Nigerian Government and repatriated to Nigeria to face his outstanding criminal charges of terrorism, treasonable felony, unlawful possession of firearms, and management of an unlawful society, among others. This generated quite an inferno in the Nigerian public space cutting across ethnic lines, and most commentators condemned the Nigerian Government for engaging in illegal acts to get Nnamdi Kalu back to the country. However, the Kenyan Government has denied being involved in the abduction of Nnamdi Kanu.

While the inferno was still raging and IPOB members largely located in the Eastern part of Nigeria are blowing hot and spitting fire for the release of Nnamdi Kanu, news emerged again that Sunday Adeyemo, popularly known as Sunday Igboho, who has been vigorously agitating for the breakaway of the Yoruba ethnic group from Nigeria, was arrested by the Government of the Republic of Benin, while hiding in Cotonou, based on an extradition request from the Nigerian Government. This recent development further inflamed the already heated polity, with a cross-section of the Nigerian populace accusing the Nigerian Government of not respecting international law principles and employing illegal tactics to quell the agitation for separation from Nigeria by the Igbos and the Yorubas, by illegally arresting and detaining the two arrowheads for the separatist movements. While the facts in the case of Nnamdi Kanu and Sunday Igboho are not completely similar and analogous, however, certain salient issues in extradition laws are engaged in both cases, I will be analysing those salient issues and make linkages in both cases.

What is Extradition?

Extradition is the process where a country such as Nigeria can request another country such as Kenya or the Republic of Benin, to have an "extradited person" returned to the requesting country, in this case Nigeria, to face prosecution for a crime punishable by Nigerian laws. For Nigeria to make this request to the Governments of Kenya and the Republic of Benin, certain legal criteria must be fulfilled.

First, the "extradited person" must either be charged before a court of law with a crime but yet to be tried or have been tried and convicted; however, the "extradited person" escaped custody, or the "extradited person" was tried and convicted in absentia.

Nnamdi Kanu

Applying the general legal principle above to the case of Nnamdi Kanu and Sunday Igboho, in the case of Nnamdi Kanu, there is an outstanding criminal case in Nigeria against him dating back to October 2015 when he was arrested and charged to court on an 11 count charge relating to terrorism, treasonable felony, managing an unlawful society, publication of defamatory matter, illegal possession of firearms and improper importation of goods among others. Some of the charges against him, were struck out by the court. He was released on bail in April 2017, after spending 18 months in detention. After his release, he jumped bail and fled Nigeria, and a warrant of arrest was issued against him.

On the face of it, Nnamdi Kanu can be tagged an "extradited person".

Sunday Igboho

However, the tag of "extradited person" cannot be placed on Sunday Igboho. Sunday Igboho is not facing any criminal charge in Nigeria, at the time of writing this article. Simply put, Sunday Igboho is not a fugitive from justice.

It must also be pointed out that any request from the Nigerian Government to the Government of the Republic of Benin for the extradition of Sunday Igboho, must comply with Article 18 of the Economic Community of West African States Convention on Extradition of 1994, which lists all the compulsory information and supporting documentation that must accompany an extradition request. This includes "(a) the original or an authenticated copy of the conviction and sentence immediately enforceable or the warrant of arrest or other order having the same effect and issued in accordance with the procedure laid down in the law of the requesting State; (b) a statement of the offences for which extradition is requested. The time and place of their commission; their legal descriptions; and a reference to the relevant legal provision shall be set out as accurately as possible; and (c) an authenticated copy of the relevant law indicating the sentence which may be or has been imposed for the offence and as accurate a description as possible of the person claimed together with any other information which will help to establish his identity, nationality and whereabouts".

As it stands, the Republic of Benin can only detain and prosecute Sunday Igboho based on a breach of the criminal laws of the Republic of Benin, and not based on an "extradition request" from Nigeria or in anticipation of an extradition request from Nigeria. Also, based on the basic principle of territoriality in criminal law, the Republic of Benin cannot apply their criminal laws to any alleged criminal acts Sunday Igboho might have committed in Nigeria, in the current court proceedings against Sunday Igboho in the Republic of Benin. Even if a criminal charge is filed in Nigeria against Sunday Igboho, it might not have retroactive application, unless the Nigeria Government backdates the date and time the criminal charge was initiated in Nigerian Courts to days before Sunday Igboho was arrested by the security of the Republic of Benin.

Sunday Igboho also enjoys the protection of Article 12(4) of the African Charter on Human and Peoples Rights which provides that "A non-national legally admitted in a territory of a State Party to the present Charter, may only be expelled from it by virtue of a decision taken in accordance with the law." Also, the Nigerian Government must demonstrate based on Article 4 of the Economic Community of West African States Convention on Extradition of 1994 that the offence which Sunday Igboho is wanted in Nigeria, is not a political offence or an offence connected with a political offence, and that the request for his extradition is not a proxy for prosecuting or punishing him on account of his race, tribe, political opinion, sex, or status, religion and national. This could be a tough hurdle for the Nigerian Government to cross, as the targeting of Sunday Igboho by the Department of State Service is based largely on his political opinion - agitating for the creation of the Yoruba Nation and his race - being a Yoruba man.

Second, even if Nnamdi Kanu is an "extradited person", the Kenyan Government can only extradite him to Nigeria, if both Nigeria and Kenya have entered into a bilateral extradition treaty governing the process and procedures for extraditing citizens of both countries. The Court of Appeal in George Udeozor v Federal Republic of Nigeria (CA/L/376/05) stated that "the right of one State to request of another the extradition of a fugitive accused of a crime, and the duty of the country in which the fugitive finds asylum to surrender the said fugitive, exist only when created by a treaty." It appears that there is no existing bilateral extradition treaty between Nigeria and Kenya, and therefore, the procedural safeguards usually embedded in extradition treaties were not engaged and not available to Nnamdi Kanu. Importantly, Nnamdi Kanu was deprived of the protections embedded in Kenya's 1968 Extradition Act, which include the requirements to issue an arrest warrant and bring Nnamdi Kanu to a court of law before extraditing him to Nigeria based on Kenya's Extradition (Commonwealth Countries) Act of 1968, which applies to both countries.

Extraordinary Rendition

Having established that the Nigerian Government did not have the legal standing to extradite Nnamdi Kanu to Nigeria, it appears that the Nigerian Government resorted to extraordinary rendition which is a government-sponsored arrest, kidnap and abduction, and it is a violation of international law as it completely denied Nnamdi Kanu the right to challenge his removal to Nigeria and put him in a position where he can be tortured.

Extraordinary renditions typically involve several human rights violations, including abduction, arbitrary arrest and detention and unlawful transfer without due process of law. It also violates several other human rights safeguards, for instance, the victims of extraordinary rendition have no possibility of challenging their detention, or the arbitrary decision to transfer them to another country. The United States of America is notorious for having used extraordinary rendition acts to transfer "war on terror" detainees into the custody of other States, assuming custody of individuals from foreign governments and abducting suspects on foreign soil.

The "Dikko Affair"

Nigeria has also been involved in extraordinary renditions, in the past. The "Dikko Affair" of 1984 easily comes to mind, when after the 1983 coup d'état the Federal Military Government of Nigeria led by Major-General Muhammadu Buhari requested the British Government to surrender Umaru Dikko, who was a former influential Federal Minister of Transportation and was living in the United Kingdom, and became a vocal critic of the military Government. Umaru Dikko was accused of embezzling several billion US dollars in oil profits, from the national treasury. Nigerian intelligence officers in collaboration with some Israeli nationals, attempted to kidnap Umaru Dikko and cargo him to Nigeria in a crate. However, the kidnap attempt was thwarted by the British security outfits, leading to a strained relationship between Nigeria and Britain. The British Government arrested seventeen individuals involved with the abduction attempts, and four were convicted and sentenced to prison terms of 10 to 14 years.

Breach of International Law

Nnamdi Kanu's Lawyer, Mr. Ejiofor, has alleged, during a television interview, that after Nnamdi Kanu was abducted by security forces from Kenya's airport, he was tortured for eight days in a private residence, before being repatriated to Nigeria. If that allegation is true and if the security agents who tortured him were Nigerians or were acting on behalf of the Nigerian Government or were agents of Kenya, then Nigeria and Kenya would have breached international law.

It further appears that the abduction of Nnamdi Kanu meant, if Kenya is involved in the abduction, breached her treaty obligations including those under the Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (UNCAT). Also, under international law, it is illegal for Nnamdi Kanu to be involuntarily removed from Kenya to Nigeria, without any kind of judicial or administrative process. Furthermore, it is not known if Nnamdi Kanu was afforded access to Lawyers, his relatives, or doctors while in detention at a private residence in Kenya for the eight-day duration. International human rights bodies have held that secret detention and enforced disappearances, constitute ill-treatment or torture.

Existing international law principles, do not sanction the use of extraordinary rendition to have brought Nnamdi Kanu to Nigeria to face his outstanding criminal charges. Indeed, Nnamdi Kanu was a fugitive from justice in Nigeria who breached his bail conditions, fled from Nigeria, and holed himself between the United Kingdom and Kenya.

However, there are robust international law frameworks, including extradition processes, that could have been used to bring him back to Nigeria. It is illegal for Nigeria to resort to extraordinary rendition, and this tinted an otherwise legal requirement with illegality. It also has the potential of causing a diplomatic row between Nigeria and Britain, since Nnamdi Kanu is equally a British citizen. The UNCAT has a robust extradition framework that Nigeria could have utilised to enlist the support and cooperation of Kenya and the United Kingdom, to secure the lawful surrender and transfer of Nnamdi Kanu. Indeed, this was a missed opportunity, for Nigeria to demonstrate her deep commitment to international law principles on extradition. For instance, Articles 9.1 and 15 of UNCAT mandates that States parties such as Nigeria, United Kingdom and Kenya shall afford one another the greatest measure of assistance in connection with criminal proceedings, including the supply of all relevant evidence at their disposal necessary for such proceedings, and they are to respect any treaties on mutual judicial assistance existing between them.

In the case of Sunday Igboho: it is imperative for Nigeria to respect international law principles, including the Economic Community of West African States Convention on Extradition of 1994, in her attempts to extradite him to Nigeria. If Sunday Igboho is not charged to court for a crime known to the law and a warrant of arrest issued against him, it will be difficult for Nigeria to successfully make an extradition case against him, before the courts in the Republic of Benin. Caution must be exercised to ensure that Nigeria does not miss another opportunity to repair her badly dented image - due to the abduction of Nnamdi Kanu - and recommit herself to international law principles particularly on extradition, and work genuinely with the Government of the Republic of Benin to lawfully have Sunday Igboho transferred into Nigerian's custody, the emphasis being on "lawfully".

Dr Akenroye, Adjunct Professor and Teaching Fellow, Centre for Criminology and Socio-Legal Studies, The University of Toronto, Canada

Kanu, Igboho Testing Nigeria's Federacy

Kede Aihie

Introduction

Two separatist agitators are currently facing legal exposure. Nnamdi Kanu, the self styled "supreme leader" of IPOB (Indigenous People of Biafra), was recently brought back to Nigeria to continue his court trial. Sunday Adeyemo aka "Igboho" is currently detained in Benin Republic. What both individuals have in common, aside from their separatist agitation, is their legal exposure.

It is not clear how Nnamdi Kanu was brought to Nigeria. So, was Kanu repatriated, extradited or brought to Nigeria against his will? If he was, what are the legal implications.

There's currently some diplomatic stalemate in Benin Republic, over Igboho's detention and possibly extradition.

Nnamdi Kanu

Let me put Kanu's case in context. He was facing trial in Nigeria, was given bail, he fled the country contrary to his bail conditions.

According to lead counsel for IPOB, Ifeanyi Ejiofor, Nnamdi Kanu was "arrested by the Kenyan Government before he was handed over to the Department of State Services". Assuming this statement is correct, the issue of return to Nigeria poses the question of its legality. If Nnamdi Kanu was forcibly brought to Nigeria, that will amount to extraordinary rendition.

Extraordinary rendition, also called irregular rendition or forced rendition, is a government-sponsored abduction and extrajudicial transfer of a person from one country to another, with the purpose of circumventing the country's laws on interrogation, detention, extradition and/or torture.

Rendition becomes unlawful when a suspect is handed over without the permission of a judicial authority, or, after the transfer, that person is tortured or held in breach of their human rights.

Nigeria is silent on how Nnamdi Kanu got to Nigeria, Kenya has denied having a hand in his alleged abduction. His Lawyer says, he was abducted in Kenya.

Sunday Igboho

Sunday Igboho's case is slightly different from Nnamdi Kanu. "Igboho" was declared wanted by Nigeria's Department of State Services (DSS), after his house was attacked. The news of Igboho and his wife's arrest and detention in Benin Republic, has raised a couple of legal issues. Mrs Ropo Adeyemo Igboho is a German citizen, while "Igboho" holds a German residency.

While Nigeria is seeking his extradition, Igboho's Lawyers are seeking his release relying on the Extradition Treaty of 1984 between Nigeria, Togo, Ghana and Benin Republic, which prevents extradition, "where a fugitive will not get justice or be discriminated against in his native country".

The question remains, whether Kanu's rights were violated after jumping bail. This to my mind, can only be answered by the courts. The challenge really, is whether a court will take into account the reason why Kanu jumped bail. Secondly, the Government will have to show how he was brought back to Nigeria, and whether the due process was followed.

The U.S. Supreme Court decision in the Binyam Mohamed case, seems to have favoured extraordinary rendition in the cases before them. My suspicion is that Kanu's trial will continue, and additional charges will be added.

Kede Aihie, Publisher of the London based Nigerian Magazine

Rule of Law on Trial

Jefferson Uwoghiren

Every Government retains the right to sanction alleged criminal infractions of its law and regulations. This right extends to suspected criminals evading justice.

Extradition

The legal processes of bringing suspected criminals to justice are expressly provided for, through a legal and administrative mechanism, known as Extradition. This is a formal legal request to another country, seeking the apprehension and return of a person of interest, to face justice in the requesting State. This process is a culmination of prior treaty, initiated and cemented between the countries involved. It is not executed upon the arrest of a particular person, but is futuristic with specific requirements for cooperation in the arrest of either political fugitives or criminal elements.

Unfortunately, it is not always possible to enact and enter into this type of agreement with every country. The result is a desperate extra-judicial resort to illegal, embarrassing State sponsored terrorist actions to snatch and haul wanted persons, sometimes with tacit collusion of the weak forum harbouring the wanted person.

Nnamdi Kanu

The resultant violent human rights violation, and abusive efforts, reminds one of the Umaru Dikko saga, euphemistically called irregular rendition, as noticed in the Nnamdi Kanu case in Kenya. This process is an arrogant breach of international human rights laws, to which this country is a signatory, as the rights to liberty is a universal right, inviolable and unextinguished by territory, save in execution of a judicial order of a properly constituted judicial authority. Even in a formal request for arrest and transfer of persons under an extradition request where a treaty exists, the fugitive be allowed his rights to a legal defence and representation, before a court with the appropriate jurisdictional nexus. Where a person, as in the Kanu Case, is denied the rights to legal advises, assistance and representation, any action purportedly carried out by all the parties, are actionable, because a denial of procedural due process in the deprivation of liberty, is as villainous as the original offence.

In the absence of a formal extradition treaty between Nigeria and Kenya, it's reprehensibly opprobrious for the Kenyan authorities to wilfully desiccate its sovereignty, to act in the manner of Kanu's snatch and hide. The arrest, alleged torture and surrender of Kanu to Nigeria without a judicial hearing, will remain a morbid stain on the tattered fabrics of that weak African nation.

In Kenya, Kanu broke no law as he was legally admitted there. Arresting him and handing him over to a seemingly hostile country without a formal announcement of its policing roles, international law enforcement requests, Kenyan authorities failed the most elementary sovereign test in surrendering its sovereignty cheaply. The United States Government long notorious for international clean and jerk has since abandoned this route, fuelled under Kerr- Frisbie - Alvarez Doctrine, which obliged agents of the CIA, to mount clandestine snatches of wanted persons in other countries. In abandoning this illegal process to common sense, the US Government realised the abuses attendant in these processes, as a slap on good conscience and civil relations.

Sunday Igboho

Similarly, the ongoing case of Yoruba nationalist flight from Nigeria, allegedly using a forged international passport is seemingly criminal but permissible under international law, as noticed in the recent case of Rondi Chihko, a Syrian refugee, arrested by the UK police and charged to court, for using a forged Canadian passport to travel to the UK from Spain. Travelling to the UK with forged documents is a criminal offence, but Appeal Court held that asylum seekers who are fleeing for their lives and have no other way of travelling to safety, have a solid and valid defence in using fake or forged documents to make good their escapes, under the provisions of the 1951 Refugee Convention. Thus, extra-judicial attempts to snatch Sunday Igboho in Cotonou, Benin Republic, is State sponsored terrorism without border.

Any legal effort, to rein in and bring Igboho to Nigeria, will likely flounder, under the weight of convenience, because where extradition treaties exist, it's not all requests that are granted. Most States take into account the factual circumstances of each application, and determine the zealous or overzealous applications of rule of law before authorising extraction requests. One of the fundamental restrictions against the express grants of extraction requests, is the presence or absence of legitimate grounds to believe that in the requesting State, the life and safety of the person requested will be endangered. This limitation known in law as the principle of of non refoulement or non- return, was originally included in the Geneva Convention on Refugees of 1951, which was relied upon by the UK court.

With the well documented serial raids on Sunday Igboho and his properties, it will be difficult to convince any judicial authority proud of its reputation, that the Nigerian authority will act responsibly and judiciously. For now, it's Nigeria that is on trial, both in Kenya and Benin Republic. Fidelity to rule of law is sacrosanct, in getting approvals for legal snatch and hide.

Jefferson Uwoghiren, Constitutional Lawyer and Human Rights Activist

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