A separatist activist wanted by Nigeria has been arrested at the airport in Benin’s capital Cotonou, police and airport sources told AFP.
Sunday Igboho, who advocates for independence for the southwestern Yoruba people and who has been wanted internationally by Nigeria since early July, “will be extradited to Nigeria as soon as the two countries have agreed on conditions,” a senior Benin police official said, with a second confirming the Monday evening arrest.
A source at Cotonou airport said a wanted Nigerian had been arrested and removed from a Germany-bound flight.
Nigerian authorities did not immediately respond when contacted by AFP.
Security officials fought an hour-long gun battle during a raid on Igboho’s home in early July, later saying he had escaped but they found military and other weapons and arrested 12 men and one woman.
Police said at the time the finds were “confirmation of a grand plan by Igboho and his cohorts to wage a violent insurrection against the Nigerian State”.
Less than a week earlier, Biafran separatist leader Nnamdi Kanu had been arrested and brought back to Nigeria after four years on the run.
Kanu heads the outlawed Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), which agitates for a separate Biafran state for ethnic Igbos in southeast Nigeria.
While Nigerian authorities have not explained how he was arrested, his wife told AFP he was snatched during a business trip to Kenya.
Kanu’s trial for “terrorism” has been set for later this month.
Biafra was the scene of a bloody 1967-70 civil war.
Nigeria, a country of 210 million people, is frequently shaken along ethnic fault lines.
The largest among its more than 200 ethnic groups are the Hausa-Fulani in the north, the Igbo in the southeast and the Yoruba in the southwest.
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