Saturday, December 4, 2021

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Fake passport: Sunday Igboho faces 21 years in prison

Yoruba Nation agitator, Chief Sunday Adeyemo, a.k.a. Sunday Igboho is looking at up to 21 years imprisonment over allegations of a doctored Beninese passport.

Igboho and his wife, Ropo, were arrested late Sunday at the Cadjèhoun Airport in Cotonou after he allegedly presented a fake travelling document to Immigration officials in Benin.

Having been declared wanted in Nigeria following a raid on his Ibadan home by the Department of State Services (DSS), Igboho and Ropo were stopped on their way to Germany after security operatives in Cotonou discovered his real identity.

In an interview with BBC Yoruba, a lawmaker in Benin, Mr. Tolulase said the situation is not looking good for the agitator.

The legislator explained that though Benin is a small country, the laws are strictly 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, lawyers for the Yoruba Nation advocate are fighting against his extradition to Nigeria where he may face treason charges.

They insist that self-determination isn’t a crime.

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