Sunday Igboho May Face 21 Years Imprisonment Over ‘Fake Beninese Passport’
Yoruba Nation agitator, Sunday Igboho may face 21 years imprisonment for allegedly tendering a Beninese passport before he was arrested in Cotonou on Monday.
Recall that the Yoruba activist and his wife, Ropo were arrested on Monday at the Cadjèhoun Airport in Cotonou.
Igboho who has been declared wanted in Nigeria was said to have presented a fake travelling document to Immigration officials in Benin.
The Nigerian Immigration Service had earlier alerted Nigeria Police, Department of State Services (DSS) and National Intelligence Agency (NIA) that Igboho was planning to acquire a new Nigerian passport as part of plans to flee.
The decision of NIS saw the activist allegedly plans for an unofficial Beninese passport.
A lawmaker in Benin, Mr Tolulase in an interview with BBC Yoruba, 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 passports, 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 conform 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.